September 12 2023

CPT Scotland Director Paul White visited Scottish Parliament last week, to give evidence to the Social Justice and Social Security Committee.

A short snippet is available via CPT's YouTube channel: 

Full transcript of the snippet above:

Jeremy Balfour MSP

"As the deputy convener said, we are here to look at child poverty, in particular. What effect has subsidising buses had? Is that a way of helping people to get to work or to school, which helps with employability?"

Paul White

"There clearly has to be a review of rural transport provision, and we need to look at technologies and the different ways in which we provide services to help people to address child poverty and other issues that might impact those living in rural areas. However, during the past five years, commercial mileage has dropped by 7 per cent, whereas subsidised mileage—that which is supported by local authorities—has dropped by 34 per cent. The commercial sector has faced challenges and it has made cuts, but local authorities have also faced severe challenges because of budget constraints, and they have had to look at their supported bus budgets and make cuts there as well. In that context, in which money is tight across the board, we need to consider how we provide transport links. That is where aspects like demand-responsive transport and community transport might play a role. They could be new solutions to link people to key bus corridors where people can shift from a community bus to a transport hub where they can get the train or an inter-urban bus. Those are the kinds of things that we need to look at."