12 April 2021
Responding to the news that Greater Manchester will take its buses back into public control, the TUC’s Better Buses for Yorkshire campaigner, Gareth Forest, has suggested that this should be the signal for similar moves on the other side of the Pennines.
“Now that Manchester has cleared the way, Yorkshire’s mayoral and combined authorities can begin their own franchising process with the peace of mind that they will not be alone,” he said. “We look forward to the new West Yorkshire mayor setting out plans to bring buses back into public control.”
He highlighted Department for Transport (DfT) data showing that, between 2000 and 2019, £843 million of public money was paid out to support Yorkshire’s bus services, the majority of which were privatised. Over the same period, DfT data shows that passenger journeys on buses in Yorkshire fell by 94 million.
“Ending the wild west free market for bus services in Yorkshire will be a huge first step to delivering better public services for our communities, and doing our bit for the climate,” said Mr Forest, who would like buses to be brought back under public control as a first step to public ownership.
“Public control means more services, better buses, lower fares, and a democratic voice on how our buses are run,” concluded the campaigner.