Bus unions protest against new plans to bring services back under public control

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BUS workers’ unions have called on transport bosses to drop controversial plans for new service contracts.

Representatives of Unite, the GMB and transport company Stagecoach are today due to present a 7,000-signature petition to the Tyne and Wear Transport Authority, calling for the plans to be dropped.

Supporters of the proposal say transferring control from bus companies to passenger transport executive Nexus will mean a better deal for passengers, while opponents claims it will increase bureaucracy.

Unite Newcastle branch secretary Tom Shoesmith is also chairman of the Central Negotiating Committee covering all Stagecoach depots in Tyne and Wear.

He said: “Our members are at the sharp end of providing bus services in local communities across Tyne and Wear.

“They care about their passengers and the bus network.

“Bus workers also want the best deal that will mean stability for their families and not put at risk their financial future.

“That is why they are against the contract plans.

“Contracts will damage the bus network, hit living standards, and push up bills for everyone.

“That is why we want Nexus to work in partnership with the bus companies to deliver improvements.”