Latest Public Sector News

04.07.16

Draft Bus Services Bill legislation to be published in spring 2017

The draft legislation for a Bill giving combined authorities power over bus franchising will be published in spring next year.

In response to a written question from Labour MP Daniel Zeichner, Andrew Jones, the transport minister, said that the department is currently working with stakeholders to prepare the draft secondary legislation and guidance for the Bus Services Bill.

The Bill, announced in the Queen’s Speech, is intended to give combined authorities devolved powers over transport services, similar to those already seen in London.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority has already said it wants to adopt the powers.

However, the Bill has been criticised by members of the House of Lords for limiting the powers to combined authorities, saying it could force local governments to appoint elected mayors.

Jones also said that the government has already published the impact assessment for the Bill, which says that the government’s preferred option for the Bill is to keep the existing quality partnership tool for relationships between local authorities and bus services, with amendments, including a new statutory enhanced partnership tool.

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