CALLS are being made for bus fares to be capped locally in order to stop the alarming decline of passenger numbers in the region.
Over the last five years, fares in Scotland have been rising twice as fast in real terms as the average across Britain, while bus usage has plummeted.
Even before covid, the number of bus journeys taken in this region had dropped by 35 per cent on the SNP’s watch, which has left the South West at risk of further cuts and decline.
Since January 1, bus fares in Scotland have been higher than in England, and 130 operators in England have signed up to a £2 cap on fares until the end of March.
South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth is backing the move and this week said: “The bus services people locally rely on every day are on the brink of collapse.
“In order to get people back on the buses, the SNP must follow the lead of Labour mayors in England and cap fares to make public transport affordable once again.
“Our communities, our economy and our planet need a working bus network which is affordable and reliable.
“Bus services will face more cuts and decline unless we take serious action and provide better, cheaper buses.”