§ Mr. Roy Hughes (Newport, East)
I have been a Member for more than 19 years, and I have never before presented a petition. The fact that Gwent county council has asked me to present this petition on its behalf shows that the county of Gwent is concerned about the proposals in the Government's Transport Bill. The petition is signed by the chief executive of the council, Mr. Michael Perry, and by the council's chairman, Mr. Viv Etheridge.
The petition points out that if the proposals are implemented there will be fewer services, less reliability, and little, if any, co-ordination. The council fearsthe possible withdrawal of the Council's concessionary pass scheme for the elderly and the disabled, and its replacement with a less flexible token based scheme.Likewise, the council fearslower standards of vehicle safety and maintenance and inadequate resources for enforcement purposes.The petition goes on to say:There are wider aspects to the proposals. Gwent is an area of high unemployment and low car ownership. Public transport fulfils important environmental, social and economic functions, the loss of which would be felt by all sections of the community. In particular, the loss of mobility for the non car owner will reduce job opportunities, which in turn will frustrate efforts by new companies to recruit and maintain their work forces. Business and the community as a whole will therefore suffer.
Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your honourable House reject any legislation to implement the proposals of the White Paper on "Buses" and the Transport Bill.
And your Petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray etc.
§ To lie upon the Table.