Scottish Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson Mike Rumbles MSP has today warned the Transport Minister to "stop spinning his wheels and give local authorities the powers to deliver a real alternative" as he attacked proposals in the forthcoming transport bill that will see authorities only able to create municipal bus companies to take on loss making routes.
Speaking after the Rural Economy and Connectivity committee discussed the bill for the first time, Mr Rumbles said:
"Bus travel has fallen by almost a quarter over the past decade, yet the SNP are happy to give transport tycoons a veto over any locally owned alternative.
"In its present form this is an utterly embarrassing bill that does no more than pay lip service to the needs of local communities.
"Which local authority is going to want to create a municipal bus company when they are only allowed to run loss making routes? This is the worst of both worlds; privatised profits and pressure on councils to pick up the slack.
"The new Transport Minister must stop spinning his wheels and give local authorities the powers to deliver a real alternative."