Before Joining SABUG it is important to realise what we can and can't influence.
We do have some influence on local issues like suggesting where to put new bus shelters and timetables and getting minor service changes implemented. For example we did manage to get the Kent Elms & Jones Corner bus shelters re-instated.
A selection of questions / comments included below should help you understand why we don't cover certain issues.
Q - Buses are supposed to be a service - why should bus companies have to make a profit?
A - Whilst SABUG agrees that buses provide an important service, in 1986 the government privatised and deregulated the industry. The current government shows no sign of changing this. The result is that most bus companies have shareholders to satisfy and profits to make in order to invest in new buses. Any member of the public wishing to change this should write to their elected representative.
Q - Two companies run a bus every 60 minutes along my road, but both come at the same time, why can't the companies merge their timetables to provide a 30 minutely service?
A - This is due to the Competition Act. Senior figures at the OFT are purported to have said they would rather have 2 buses from 2 companies come together every hour than both firms merging timetables to provide a half hourly service, as people have a choice of which company to use which is good for competition! If two bus companies were to "talk" to each other and be found out they would be liable for a hefty fine. A senior bus company manager even told us that he needs to tell officials that he has come to our AGM at the same time as company managers from the other firms!
SABUG takes a dim view of applying the Competition Act to the bus industry but this is a national issue. Members of the public should write to their elected representatives to change this.