Houghton and Sunderland South MP, Bridget Phillipson has defended plans by Nexus to introduce quality contracts amidst an attack by Go North East on the plans reported by the Sunderland Echo today (6th December 2011).
During the summer, over 1000 local people took part in Bridget's 'Big Bus Survey' and are clearly frustrated with the level and quality of bus services. Many residents have made it clear that the current system of service provision does not fulfil their reasonable expectations of frequent service, stable and easy to understand fares, and direct routes to local services such as hospitals. A copy of the report can be downloaded here.
The House of Commons Transport Select Committee has also heard from residents through a special edition of the 'Big Bus Survey'. A copy can be downloaded here: http://www.bridgetphillipson.com/blog/local-people-make-their-voice-heard/
Commenting in support of Nexus, Bridget said:
“The Big Bus Survey clearly shows local people have genuine concerns that the level of service is not meeting their needs. Mr Huntley's comments are disappointing but not surprising. He is more concerned with the power the bus companies currently enjoy and the profits they make rather than the wishes of local people.
“Local bus service providers need to make sure that residents experience the level of services that they expect and deserve. The Competition Commission has already called for a change along these lines.
“I believe the plans Nexus are putting forward will help provide a better level of service and support our economy during these difficult times. The proposals would allow local people to have a greater say over bus services. The current system is wholly inadequate and needs to be more accountable. Nexus have my full support and I know through consulting with my constituents that Nexus have their support too.”