Saturday, July 13, 2024

UK Government to Deliver “Bus Revolution”

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The UK’s new Transport Secretary, Louise Haigh has kickstarted a planned “bus revolution” with a visit to Greater Manchester.

This initiative aims to support local leaders in delivering better buses across the UK. Specifically, it will help create and save bus routes by allowing communities to take local control of services through franchising or public ownership.

This vision mirrors the success of Greater Manchester’s Bee Network. Haigh has therefore visited Greater Manchester to see first-hand how the network has increased ridership and reliability.

In discussion with the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, she aims to explore how the area’s Bee Network can be replicated across the country.

Franchised Bee Network buses in Greater Manchester

© Transport for Greater Manchester

Transport Secretary, Louise Haigh, said:

Buses are the lifeblood of communities, but the system is broken. Too often, passengers are left waiting hours for buses that don’t turn up – and some have been cut off altogether.

Change starts now. This new government will give local leaders the tools they need to deliver better buses up and down the country. Our plan will create and save vital bus routes by giving every community the power to take back control of their bus services through franchising or public ownership.

We are already seeing how the Bee Network is delivering for people across Greater Manchester – we will ensure every community can enjoy the same benefits.

Through the newly instigated “bus revolution” Haigh is overturning the failed system of deregulation, which has negatively impacted service levels. The plans will also call time on the “postcode lottery” of bus services by safeguarding local networks and driving opportunities to under-served regions.

Her visit to Greater Manchester will address the challenges faced by the region throughout its franchising journey. It took Greater Manchester 6 years to take local control of its services due to necessary barriers. By removing these barriers, the government now aims to empower more regions to make this change.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said:

Properly integrated public transport is the key to unlocking growth and opportunity across our city-region, improving the lives of our residents, supporting businesses and delivering greater value for money.

The numbers speak for themselves – our Bee Network has more passengers than ever before and is providing a better service for residents.

Greater Manchester has shown that our pioneering approach works and we look forward to working with the government to put power back into the hands of local communities.

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