The #BUSTICE campaign, launched by YUSU’s Wellbeing and Community Officer, Steph Hayle, has been publicly supported by Labour and Green party councillors of the City of York Council. As a result, the campaign, which seeks
to improve the heavily criticised transport services in York, has successfully secured a public hearing. Hayle has confirmed that the campaign is due to be presented to full council in March, and that Councillor, Michael Palvovic, will
be acting as the campaign’s representative and spokesperson.
The campaign was originally launched in mid-January in response to growing frustrations towards York’s public transport, said to be inefficient and unfit for purpose. #Bustice’s online petition, which draws direct attention
to the increasing prices, lack of punctuality, and decreasing number of busses in York, has since amassed 1858 signatures. Hayle expressed her excitement at the campaign’s growth: “The Bustice campaign is going from strength to
strength, and the engagement we have gained not only from students, but residents as well, has been brilliant.”
From the offset, the campaign has emphasised how the poor quality of public transport in the city is not just a concern for students, also having a negative impact on “every resident of our community”, from pensioners, to business people, to those with disabilities. Moreover, #Bustice maintains that the current state of public transport is likely to result in more people resorting to driving across the city, perpetuating a cycle of increased pollution and environmental damage.
York Central MP, Rachael Maskell, was quick to express her support for the campaign, having credited it as being “a really great initiative.” Not only is the campaign attracting support among local politicians, #Bustice has also garnered attention from various media outlets. Hayle said of the campaign’s increasing popularity: “The campaign has so far appeared in YorkMix, the York Press, MinsterFM, and ThatsTV York, with the BBC asking to cover the story too. This clearly shows how passionate people across the city are about this issue.”
While the outcome of the hearing remains uncertain, the campaign hopes that it will ultimately lead to the development of long term and sustainable solutions. It is expected that these discussions will also address the recently increased rates of First Bus tickets, currently York’s only bus operator.
Although York’s public transport is at the centre of this campaign, Hayle has highlighted that its potential impact goes beyond this single issue: “I would encourage students to examine and understand the campaign a bit more, and see that it’s not just aimed at buses, nor just the transport students use, but is a project to improve things for the entire
Furthermore, the campaign’s emphasis on the wider York community outside of the University, hopes to improve connections between the local and student population. On the benefit that #Bustice could have on community relations, Hayle stated: “It’s a brilliant chance to show York just how much students care and contribute to daily life here, and how we’re fighting to make things better for everyone.”