Firstgroup comes first for private subsidy

Using Glasgow’s bus network pretty much means you have to use Firstbus plc. Almost 98% of Glasgow commuters have to use the one private bus company or a monopoly as you can call it. Firstbus receives subsidies from the government to run the service.

Some people will remember that before Firstbus ran Glasgow’s buses, there was Strathclyde Passenger Transport Executive, with big yellow and green buses.

Deregulation (or privatisation) of UK bus services, opened up to the market to other companies. In 1986 Council-owned Strathclyde Buses was born and had to stand on its own two feet. In 1998 Firstgroup bought up Strathclyde Buses and the monopoly began.

Should we be blaming Firstbus plc for Glasgow’s poor bus services? Yes, but they are not the only ones to blame – Firstbus plc is like any other profit-making company: they have to make as much money as they can – it’s the system. Before Glasgow Firstbus, the decision to privatise was taken by politicians and it has not favoured for the people of Glasgow.

We need a service that is run for us, not for profit. We need a say where the buses go in Glasgow and not cutting areas off at night.


One response to “Firstgroup comes first for private subsidy

  1. christine higgison

    First Bus “service” is appalling. My main access to the city is by the 59 bus. Its route and timetable changes with monotonous regularity, but never with consultation. For 5 months we had a service which went to Townhead allowing access to the main shopping areas plus the central bus and train stations. This was well received so it was no surprise the it was changed very quickly. The 59 now becomes a 118 in Hope Street and goes to Baljaffrey. Instead of single decker buses with disabled access we now have decrepit double decker buses with no disabled access. I was shocked to see the effect of this on 3 disabled passengers last Thursday. Has First Bus not heard of the Disability Discrimination Act? As the 59 “serves” Mosspark which mainly has people of pensioner age, this is a shocking oversight on the part of some alleged strategic planner. After all, where would the company be without the support of pensioners and their bus passes?!!!!

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