Plans to allow councils to set up their own bus companies will be considered by MSPs next week.

Labour says its proposal will take control of Scotland’s bus network away from big business and hand it to local communities.

Councils would be able to launch municipal bus companies that will freely compete for any other service or franchise.

Currently the only publicly owned, municipal bus company in Scotland is Lothian Buses, whose existence pre-dates deregulation.

Scottish Labour’s Transport spokesperson, Colin Smyth MSP, said: “Under the SNP government Scotland’s bus network is being dismantled route by route. While fares have soared, passenger numbers have plummeted.

“However, the SNP’s timid Transport Bill only allow councils to set up municipal bus companies to run loss-making routes.

“This will allow Scotland’s transport tycoons to continue to grab the profits and leave communities short-changed."

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