Greater Manchester proposes devolved bus franchising

Manchester could soon have a Transport for London-style integrated public transport body, as the city’s transport leaders indicated they may adopt proposals in the Buses Bill.

The bill will devolve control of bus franchising to local authorities with an elected mayor, allowing them to decide the routes, frequencies, timetables, fares and quality standards.

Bus services account for 79% of all public transport journeys in Greater Manchester, or 210 million every year, but the system is deregulated, meaning that 80% of services are controlled by bus companies instead of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) or Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).

Tony Lloyd, interim mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “It is absolutely right that Greater Manchester should have the ability to decide what transport network it wants and needs to help support our city-region and its growing economy.”

Cllr Andrew Fender, chair of the TfGM committee, said a franchised system “will help deliver a consistent, integrated transport network and make it possible for every passenger to use their tickets on any bus in Greater Manchester, as well as other forms of public transport”.

He added that it will place the customer at the heart of Greater Manchester’s transport network and enable the reinvestment of funds back into transport.

In a report published today, think tank Centre for Cities also endorsed the Buses Bill proposals, saying increased investment in transport within the largest northern cities is vital for building the Northern Powerhouse.

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Jon   02/06/2016 at 11:12

Not the most flattering choice of images!

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