Labour parliamentary candidate for Houghton and Sunderland South Bridget Phillipson has paid a visit to sheltered housing scheme Oakfield Court in East Herrington to speak with residents about the issues that matter to them ahead of the forthcoming General Election.
Many of the residents, who rely on public transport to see their GP and access other local amenities, raised concerns over the impact of the cuts to local bus services that have been carried out over the last few years.
During her five years as Member of Parliament for the constituency Bridget campaigned for the introduction of a Quality Contract Scheme to re-regulate the provision of local bus services across Tyne and Wear.
The introduction of this scheme would ensure that bus services are run in the public interest and not exclusively for profit. Routes that are socially important and which provide vital community access will be protected under the plans, which are currently under consideration by the independent Quality Contracts Board.
"It was very important to speak with the residents of Oakfield Court today to understand better the effect that bus cuts are having on their access to vital services.
Many people told me that it had become more difficult to see their GP as a result of the cuts, which have been imposed in order to protect the profits of the bus companies.
While I was MP for this constituency I campaigned in favour of a the re-regulation of bus services, and if I am re-elected on May 7 I will continue to press for the introduction of a Quality Contract Scheme for the Tyne and Wear bus network.
QCS is the only way to ensure that bus companies put people before profits."