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Red faced SNP campaign for illegal bus plan

April 19, 2012 4:42 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Jim Hume, South of Scotland MSP and Liberal Democrat Transport spokesperson, has criticised the SNP in East Lothian for misleading local people on the cuts to bus services imposed by the SNP government.

Local SNP candidates for the council elections have claimed that the First Minister Alex Salmond backs their plan to establish a council trading company to take control of bus services.

But their own SNP Transport Minister Keith Brown confirmed in a radio interview that this plan is not possible as the "law prevents [councils] from doing that, directly intervening in the market in that way."

Commenting, Mr Hume said:

"Not only has the SNP caused chaos by cutting the Bus Service Operators Grant which has led to slashed services and increased fares but now they are misleading people over plans to secure local services.

"Local SNP candidates are campaigning saying that their First Minister backs there plan to establish a council run bus service, while their own Transport Minister is on the radio saying it is against the law.

"Trying to pull the wool over the eyes of people in East Lothian who are genuinely concerned about the cuts to local bus services is shameful.

"Rather than pretending that the SNP didn't cause the problem in the first place and coming up with half-baked plans, the SNP should focus on what can be done to save local routes and guard against fare increases.

"There is extra money available from Westminster following the UK budget and the SNP should use this money to reduce the impact of their cuts.

"That is an option available to them right now. It doesn't break the bank, and it doesn't break the law."