Yet more bus services will be coming back into public ownership

A recent poll for LFF found that 67% of the public want to see buses in public ownership.

GM Buses

After the failures of privatisation, yet more bus services are expected to be brought back under public control.

The Mirror reports that ‘moves are afoot for local authorities to regain powers for setting fares and routes. Areas seeking change include West Yorkshire, where a consultation ends a month today with a decision due in March.’

A recent poll for LFF found that 67% of the public want to see buses in public ownership.

Greater Manchester was the first English region to take back ownership of its bus services. The Mayor Greater Manchester praised the move earlier this year. He said: “For nearly 40 years we have seen worsening services and plummeting passenger numbers on our buses.

“We’ve had to reckon with a deregulated bus network that cuts vital services that connect communities to jobs, hospitals and opportunities on a whim – leaving local leaders with limited budgets to pick up the tab to keep these routes alive.

“Today marks the end of that era with our franchised system representing better value for money for city-regions and a better service for passengers.”

Now other local authorities are set to follow in Manchester’s footsteps. Liverpool is set to be the second place to overturn decades of bus regulation and consultations start next year in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Yorkshire.

The Mirror adds: “Campaigns are also advanced in the West Midlands, Oxfordshire, Bristol and Strathclyde, while candidates for mayoral elections in North Yorkshire and the North East have indicated support to bring back control. In total, areas with a population of almost 28 million are actively considering regaining powers, or have done so.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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