Tracy Brabin is right to bring West Yorkshire buses under public control as passengers have suffered enough

Anyone who has suffered the misery of inadequate bus services in West Yorkshire will fully support Mayor Tracy Brabin’s decision to bring buses back into public control.

Routes, the frequency of services and fares for buses in the region will be set by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and not private operators. Private operators will instead be contracted to run services on the Combined Authority’s behalf.

A line needed to be drawn under the current way of operating where private companies run services into the ground and then go cap in hand for more public funding.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

There is no reason why buses can’t be profitable while also delivering good levels of service. That clearly wasn’t the case under the current model.

Buses at Leeds Bus Station. PIC: James Hardisty.Buses at Leeds Bus Station. PIC: James Hardisty.
Buses at Leeds Bus Station. PIC: James Hardisty.

The £2 bus fare cap has shown that people are willing to travel by bus and that operators didn’t always necessarily need to cut routes or frequency of services. Too often many felt priced off buses.

Buses can connect communities in a way that rail travel can’t and as such should be treated as a public service.

The drive towards net zero will only be successful if more people are encouraged out of cars and onto public transport. Therefore making bus travel more accessible and reliable needs to be a top priority.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Private operators can’t have any complaints, they’ve had ample opportunity to fix things.

There’s no reason why buses can’t be run for the benefit of passengers and still be profitable. Hopefully franchising will end the misery that many passengers have had to endure and herald a new era for public transport in the region.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.