New move to take control of buses

Councillors in West Yorkshire are looking at ways of regulating buses
Councillors in West Yorkshire are looking at ways of regulating buses
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WEST YORKSHIRE will take further steps towards bus regulation after councillors were unimpressed by the latest offer from operators.

Councillors have agreed work on a ‘bus quality contract’ - a way of taking greater control over services - should be progressed because of the ongoing failure to secure the improvements they want from the bus companies.

Coun James Lewis, chairman of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s transport committee, said: “Our view is they still can’t demonstrate how by maintaining their current monopoly position they can either deliver integrated ticketing so people always have the best value on a single ticketing scheme and also how they can deliver value for money in terms of the money used to subsidise services and concessionary fares but also looking at future investment in transport infrastructure.”

The Combined Authority, which takes the lead role on transport in West Yorkshire, is keeping a close eye on efforts to introduce a bus quality contract in the North-East.

The mechanism was passed into law by the last government but so far no area has used the powers.

If the North-East bid is successful it will be the first part of the country outside London to have regulated buses since 1986.

In A Manifesto for Yorkshire, The Yorkshire Post is calling for a recognition that de-regulation has failed in many areas and for transport bodies in the region to be given the powers and freedom to shape bus services that meet the needs of their communities.

This should include the option of adopting a London-style franchise system to help integrate bus services with other forms of public transport.

A Manifesto for Yorkshire can be read and discussed at www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/election-politics/yorkshire-manifesto.