MP tells Parliament of Sunderland workers’ plight as D-Day approaches on London-style bus plans

Bridget Phillipson
Bridget Phillipson
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A CITY MP has urged council bosses to vote to take control of bus services for the sake of Sunderland’s workers.

Houghton and Sunderland South MP Bridget Phillipson also attacked profit-making bus companies in her parliamentary speech ahead of tomorrow’s crucial decision on the future of the region’s bus services.

North East Combined Authority (NECA) – which includes Sunderland and six other local councils – is set to meet to decide whether to implement a London-style quality contracts system, whereby transport agency Nexus will control services.

The proposed scheme will take back powers over bus fares, timetables and routes and bus operators will bid for the right to run services.

At a Westminster Hall debate on transport, Miss Phillipson highlighted the inadequacies of bus services in Sunderland and explained how this is affecting the city’s economy.

She said people working at Doxford Park are forced to come to work early and then have to run to catch the last bus home.

She said: “I recently visited EE in Doxford Park and heard directly from staff how poor transport links impact upon their work. Businesses and staff have told me of concerns that buses run infrequently after the main evening rush hour and that services do not fit with shift patterns.

“This is simply not good enough. People who work in Doxford Park contribute massively to our local economy, it is time that they can expect a fair, reliable and efficient bus service.”