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To: SPT, Strathclyde’s 12 Council leaders & Transport Scotland

Take Strathclyde’s Buses back into Public Control

Please sign this petition to support the Better Buses for Strathclyde campaign and make sure you tick ‘Yes, keep me informed via email’ to receive our updates.


Bus services across Strathclyde are in crisis.

Private bus companies receive millions in public subsidies every year,[1] yet they continue to cut our vital services and hike up fares.

This has left many people across our region locked out of jobs and opportunities, unable to visit friends or family, or forced to buy cars.

We’ve seen a vicious circle of decline ever since our buses were deregulated in 1986.

Now finally we have the chance to turn this around.

New powers in the Transport Act 2019 mean our transport authority – SPT – can take our buses back into public control.

Re-regulating the private bus companies (through ‘franchising’) will mean SPT can plan bus routes to serve our communities’ needs and to connect seamlessly with trains, ferries and Glasgow’s Subway.

They can cut fares and deliver one simple, affordable ticket across all transport modes – like Greater Manchester is now doing.[2]

And SPT can also set up a new publicly-owned bus company for Strathclyde – like Edinburgh’s Lothian Buses – which can reinvest profits in improving our network.[3]

The next year is crucial.

SPT is currently developing the new Strathclyde Regional Bus Strategy which will set the direction of bus policy for the next 15 years.[4]

This offers us a once-in-generation opportunity to end the chaos caused by bus deregulation and ensure that public money is used to provide the services that we need.

We call on SPT’s Board to ensure that this Strategy sets out clear plans to use both these new powers in tandem (for ‘franchising’ and to set up a new public operator for Strathclyde).

It’s vital that SPT’s Board also rejects the idea of entering into a so-called ‘Bus Service Improvement Partnership’ with the private operators which would simply maintain the status quo.

We call on the leaders on Strathclyde’s 12 Councils to support SPT to take our region’s buses back into public control.

We call on the Transport Minister Fiona Hyslop and her staff at Transport Scotland to provide the funding and support that SPT need to deliver a world-class, fully-integrated, accessible and affordable public transport system fit for the 21st century.

Why is this important?

Strathclyde is by far the most populous part of Scotland – home to 2.2 million people, with the largest number of bus users.

Our expensive, unreliable and uncoordinated public transport network is holding us back – it’s a disaster for our economy, society and our environment.

Transport is by far the biggest contributor to carbon emissions: mostly from private cars.

The Scottish Government has set the target of reducing car miles by 20% by 2030.[5] Glasgow City Council also aims to have net-zero emissions by this date.[6]

These pressing climate targets will be impossible to meet without a total transformation of our public transport network so that – no matter where you live in our region – you can get around easily without needing to own a car.[7]

As Greater Manchester has clearly shown, this transformation can only be delivered by taking our buses back into public control.

Better Buses for Strathclyde is supported by:

Govan Community Council
Maryhill & Summerston Community Council
Clydebank Trades Council
Irvine Trades Council

If you’re part of an organisation, group or Community Council that would like to support the campaign, please get in touch using the ‘Contact Campaign Creator’ link at the top of this petition.


[1] March 2023, Scottish Transport Statistics, Transport Scotland
[2] The Bee Network, Transport for Greater Manchester
[3] About Us, Lothian Buses
[4] June 2023, Strathclyde Regional Bus Strategy & Delivery Plan – Award of Contract, SPT
[5] January 2022, 20% reduction in car km by 2030, Transport Scotland
[6] June 2021, Glasgow’s Climate Plan passed unanimously at committee, Glasgow City Council
[7] March 2021, Every Village, Every Hour, CPRE: The Countryside Charity

How it will be delivered

We plan to submit the petition to the SPT Board in advance of their important meeting in March 2024 – when they intend to make a decision on which new powers to take forward.

We also plan to take the petition to Strathclyde’s 12 Council leaders and to Fiona Hyslop and to keep the pressure up until the Strathclyde Regional Bus Strategy is finally delivered.

Glasgow City Region, UK

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL




2024-04-15 21:40:30 +0100

Following our big campaign win on Friday 15 March, SPT are now running a public consultation on their proposals for bus reform, which closes at midnight on Monday 13 May 2024.

This gives us a great opportunity to make our voices heard.

Please use our online guide to help you complete the consultation 👇

We are also organising two public meetings in collaboration with regional trades councils during the consultation period:

Public Meeting - Better Buses North Lanarkshire
Thursday 25 April 2024, 7.30pm
The Muirfield Centre, 1A South Muirhead Road, Cumbernauld, G67 1AX

Public Meeting - Better Buses North Ayrshire
Wednesday 1 May 2024, 7.30pm
Kilwinning Bowling Club, 12 Howgate, Kilwinning, KA13 6EJ

Please do come along to find out more!

2024-03-12 12:18:43 +0000

This Friday 15 March is Decision-Day for our buses!

The SPT Board is meeting to choose whether to use new powers to bring the bus network back into public control.

Please join our People's Rally for Public Control:
Friday 15 March 2024, 9am
SPT Offices, 131 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5JF

We need a really strong turn out to ensure SPT make the right decision

2024-02-24 20:39:51 +0000

10,000 signatures reached

2024-02-22 11:29:42 +0000

This is a crucial point in our fight to take Strathclyde's buses back into public control.

We're ramping up the pressure on SPT Board members by delivering this petition to them this Friday 23 February, 9:30am ahead of their Board meeting - and by holding a big Rally on Friday 15 March, 9am when they plan to announce their decision.

Please come down and join us outside SPT Offices, 131 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5JF

Better Buses for Strathclyde Petition Hand-in
Friday 23 February 2024, 9:30am

Better Buses for Strathclyde People’s Rally
Friday 15 March 2024, 9am

2024-01-23 17:15:01 +0000

On 15 March 2024, the SPT Board will announce whether they plan to use the new powers in the Transport Act 2019 to take our region’s buses back into public control.

Please help us ramp up the pressure before then by using our online tool to write to the decision makers on the SPT Board. Take action here 👇

2023-12-20 15:46:59 +0000

5,000 signatures reached

2023-09-29 19:10:20 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2023-09-29 11:56:04 +0100

500 signatures reached

2023-09-29 09:42:45 +0100

100 signatures reached

2023-09-29 09:11:45 +0100

50 signatures reached

2023-09-29 08:10:24 +0100

25 signatures reached

2023-09-22 08:47:08 +0100

10 signatures reached