It's easy to be negative. It's the human condition to luxuriate in a right good moan. It's certainly the human condition to direct that moan at politicians.

And what do we love to moan most about? Easy: bins and buses.

The streets are a state and you wait ages for one bus to turn up and then... none turn up.

Moaning feels utterly justified in this current climate. An outsider looking in would be aghast at the frightshow headlines about the UK's public transport infrastructure.

If it's not HS2 - vast cost and schedule delivery problems, cancellation and uncertainty - then it's the Edinburgh tram inquiry. Just the £400 million over budget and five years late, no big deal.

You then have cancelled Avanti train services diverting passengers to four hour taxi journeys with drivers alleged to be falling asleep at the wheel or leaving gaggles of school children abandoned at Preston at midnight to the kindness of fish supper-donating strangers.

In Glasgow, although the heat has died down, we still don't have the full return of our night bus service and the issues with buses generally rumble on and on.

Rishi Sunak was subject to a round of local BBC radio station interviews on Thursday morning. A man with any sense would have been quaking in his boots ahead of this inquisition, given the absolute horror show that was his brief predecessor's performance.

READ MORE: Bus boss says pub staff can drive the night buses themselves

Liz Truss was famously ripped apart by wolves in her go-round of local reporters and would Sunak fare any better? Not really.

Anna Jameson of BBC Radio Manchester pressed the prime minister on the future of HS2. Sunak tried to skirt the issue - to Jameson's obvious frustration - and pivoted to talking about potholes. Most people in Manchester, he said, drive so it was important to focus on improving the roads.

What an infuriating backwards nonsense but so indicative of Sunak's cavalier disregard for the environment. His mortifying nonsense last week about scrapping a seven-bin recycling programme that doesn't actually exist speaks volumes of the Tories short-termism, culture war approach to trying to scoop up votes.

You can't argue that because people don't use a service, that service shouldn't be invested in... when the service doesn't exist. What if Edward Heath refused to sign the Channel Tunnel agreement because most people used ferries to travel to France.

Politicians - if they're doing it right - should listen to what people need and provide it. They should also provide people with what they don't know they need if the service that's lacking promotes the greater good.

There has to be unwavering leadership on issues of climate change. Instead, one very small by-election in Uxbridge has altered the course of the Government's level of priority for green issues and reinvigorate political focus on "the motorist".

Sunak couldn't exactly point to the Manchester bus network launched this week, could he? If nothing else, he's never professed his love for buses like his other predecessor Boris Johnson did.

The new Bee network is an attempt at the very slow overturning of the Thatcherite transport privatisation of the 1980s and has been led by a Labour mayor, Andy Burnham, who has done an astonishing job at championing the franchising system despite intense pushback from private operators

The problems inherent in the bus network are a Conservative legacy resolved by Labour.

Bus service decline is an under-reported issue across England with four decades of deregulation and outsourcing making their impact on services.

From a Scottish perspective, we should be looking at Manchester with expectant, critical eyes. During the July and August debacle over the future of Glasgow's night bus services, Manchester's plans were repeatedly mentioned as an exemplar of what Glasgow City Council might do with the right powers from the Scottish Government and the right leadership.

READ MORE: The loss of the city's night buses is an embarrassment to Glasgow

First Glasgow announced in July that the 11-night bus services would be stopped due to low passenger numbers and driver recruitment problems. There was outcry - even from people who've never used a night bus in their life - and eventually First Glasgow and McGill's teamed up to reinstate the bulk of the services.

It was a catalyst for a public discussion about bus travel that has since died down. But we must be careful not to let the conversation go silent again. It's only through public pressure that public services improve; if we stop talking about the services we want, we're not going to get the services we want.

Public transport is one of the most intersectional issues we have. It's a cost of living issue - bus travel must be affordable with integrated ticketing.

Bulk-buying tickets or getting a season ticket if you travel by train cuts costs but is a false economy in the new world of hybrid home and office working.

Not all journeys can be done by the same mode of transport either; most people need to use the bus sometimes, train other times. In Manchester the Bee Network has capped fares at £2, thanks to government subsidy, but it's hoped passenger numbers will rise sufficiently for that price point to remain.

Transport is a feminist issue. Men and women travel differently but it's difficult to see evidence of this being taken into account when you look at local transport networks.

As a contributor on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour pointed out this week, buses and trains are centred on the needs of male commuters and so are good at ferrying people directly into cities and towns at rush hour.

The care burden largely falls on women, however, so women take children to school and then head to work and then on the way home pop in to see elderly relatives or pick up food for dinner. These sorts of journeys - "trip chaining" - can be grim on public transport.

Where Manchester will be of interest is in seeing whether passenger numbers increase, whether bus efficiency increases and whether the Bee Network can keep the fare point down.

Private bus operators in Glasgow point to congestion on the roads as the main issue affecting routes running to time. Tackle that, they say, and the improvements will be immediate.

If all these things work in Manchester then there's nothing stopping Glasgow fighting for franchising too.

A well-functioning bus network is vital to the economy and is an environmental necessity. It's an issue we forget about due to the focus on motorists - how quickly headlines pivot to car-adjacent stories.

We can only hope that in five years' time we look back on the pushback against 20mph speed limits and low-traffic neighbourhoods and, mortified, wonder what the hell the fuss was all about.

Wouldn't it be nice to do that while gazing out of the window of an affordable, convenient and on time bus?