Combined Authority Transport Committee Chair, Cllr James Lewis today welcomed Shadow Transport Secretary Mary Creagh’s call for northern cities to have London-style powers over bus services.
“A new environment which recognises that, with over 180 million passenger journeys made every year, buses are the most used form of public transport, as they are in London, and gives us the ability to organise bus services in the same way that London does, would make a huge difference in West Yorkshire, he said.
“We have long said that if buses are to be at the heart of an integrated transport system that underpins our economy, the framework in which West Yorkshire’s buses are run needs to change.”
Cllr Lewis said, “For some years we have been working towards addressing the unsatisfactory situation through Quality Contracts as well as considering partnership proposals from West Yorkshire bus operators.
“This work towards Quality Contracts for West Yorkshire continues and we are scheduling further discussions with operators about their partnership offer, which still falls short of our requirements and ambitions and still sees passenger penalised for using more than one company’s services.
“This is not about turning the clock back decades but about bringing Yorkshire’s towns and cities into line with how bus services are organised, and bus companies operate successfully, in major modern cities across Europe and giving passengers the value-for-money services they deserve.”
In her speech at the Labour Party Conference Mary Creagh said
Two thirds of all journeys on public transport are on buses and described bus services as 'the lifelines of our cities, towns and villages'. She said services had been cut and fares have gone up by 'an inflation-busting 25 per cent since 2010'.
She said Labour would support any city that wants London-style buses and smart, integrated tickets and paid tribute to West Yorkshire’s work on Quality Contracts.
“I wish them luck,” she said. “In government they will have my full support.”