My Wanderings Begin-Part Two

Part Two of the story of how my wanderings began looks at the implications for the bus network following the change of political control bought to West Midlands County Council in May 1981.

Buses for fun!

Buses, especially their fares, were a major campaigning issue in the May 1981 West Midlands County Council elections. In control of the council since May 1977, the Conservative Party had set great store in reducing the subsidy paid by ratepayers to the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive. This resulted in fairly heavy fare increases most years, with a consequent loss of passengers, forcing the PTE into making cutbacks, most notably in October 1980. Labour, on the other hand, proposed increasing the subsidy to enable fare cuts to take place, citing the example of South Yorkshire PTE, where fares had been frozen since 1975, resulting in ever increasing passenger numbers. Possibly as a result of this but I suspect more likely to be due to the increasing unpopularity of Margaret Thatcher’s government during it’s first term of office, Labour won the election, mirroring the more heavily publicised result in the Greater London elections, which resulted in Ken Livingstone’s “Fares…

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