Bus

Mayor’s plan to control buses

More than £75 million has been spent by the West Midlands Combined Authority over 18 months on subsidies to keep the region’s buses on the road.

Without this heavy subsidy, thousands of passengers would have faced either inflation-busting fare increases or dramatic cuts in the bus network with many evening and weekend services wiped out.

With the support only in place until the end of the year, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) has already started talks with Government and bus operators over further funding to prevent reduction in services or steep fare increases in 2025.

Richard Parker, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “This is unsustainable, our bus network is broken and that is why we want to take back control so that it serves the people, communities and businesses who rely on regular, affordable and reliable bus services.

“I have directed our officers to put a report before the WMCA Board at the earliest opportunity to set out a roadmap for franchising the region’s bus services as quickly as possible – and get us ready to start that transition in 2025.

Richard Parker comment

“We will consult communities and businesses, to create a network which enables people to get to work, school, college or hospital – providing access to essential services, an affordable alternative to the car and reducing traffic congestion.

“We are also talking to the Labour leadership, who if successful at the general election, will introduce measures to make it easier and speed up the process towards franchising – I will make sure this benefits the West Midlands.”

Although TfWM is covering about half the running costs of bus services, the private bus operators make decisions about routes, fares, and timetables. Under the franchised model TfWM will decide these and award contracts to operators to run services to set specifications.

A successful bus network is a key part of the combined authority’s plans to better connect our people to job, education and leisure opportunities, decarbonise the transport network and grow regional economies.

Image credit: iStock

PSE

PSE April/ May 2024

Alarming decline in UK costal water quality

Dive into our latest edition for April/May 2024!

 

More articles...

View all
Online Conference

Presenting

2024 Online Conferences

In partnership with our community of public sector leaders responsible for procurement and strategy across local authorities and the wider public sector, we’ve devised a collaborative calendar of conferences and events for leaders of industry to listen, learn and collaborate through engaging and immersive conversation.

All our conferences are CPD accredited, which means you can gain points to advance your career by attending our online conferences. Also, the contents are available on demand so you can re-watch at your convenience.

Public Sector Executive Podcast

Listen to industry leaders on everything within the public sector

From government policies and public administration to education, healthcare, and infrastructure, we explore the challenges and innovations shaping our communities.

 

Join us as we speak with industry leaders, policymakers, and frontline professionals, providing you with valuable insights and perspectives to stay informed and engaged with the issues that matter most.