Jeremy Corbyn blasts soaring bus fares as operators bank £3.3bn in profits
Jeremy Corbyn has taken aim at bus companies for raking in £3.3bn in profits since 2010 while slashing key routes.
New analysis from Labour shows that fares are meanwhile predicted to soar over the next few years, with average prices set to be 53% higher in real terms by 2022 than they were in 2010.
Meanwhile passenger numbers are on course to be 10% lower than they were in 2010 - with elderly and disabled passenger numbers also set to plummet.
During a visit to Derbyshire later today, the Mr Corbyn will lash out at English bus operators for raking in £3.3bn in profits since 2009/10 despite ongoing cuts to services.
Speaking ahead of the trip, the Labour leader said: "The Tories said privatisation would improve our buses but private bus companies are running bus services into the ground, while raking in billions of pounds in profit.
“Passengers now face a toxic mix of rising fares, cuts to services and reduced access.
“Labour will act in the interests of the many by protecting pensionsers’ bus passes and introducing a new free pass for under 25s.
“For too long the bus industry has put profit for a few before millions of passengers. A future Labour Government will change that.”
In its 2017 manifesto Labour vowed to lift a ban on allowing local authorities to run their own bus routes and pledged to hand new powers to councils to re-regulate local bus services.
Mr Corbyn will also use the visit to reaffirm his party's committment to protecting free bus passes for pensioners, as well as introducing free travel cards for under 25s.
A Department for Transport spokesperson said: "It is for councils to decide which bus operations to support in their areas, but we help to subsidise costs through around £250m worth of investment every year.
"£42m of this is already devolved to local authorities and a further £1bn funds the free bus pass scheme, benefiting older and disabled people across the country."