In December 2018, the Welsh Government launched a public consultation inviting views on its proposals for bus services (and the licensing of taxi and private hire vehicles) in Wales.

A summary of the 564 written responses received can be found at gov.wales.

This includes comments from 20 organisations listed as bus operators, transport representative bodies and trade unions in the sector. Just over 100 responded to questions on the bus proposals only.

These related to:

  • Joint Transport Authorities (JTAs)

  • Enhanced Quality Partnerships (EQPs)

  • Franchising

  • Revising current legislation so that local authorities can run their own bus services

  • Increasing the eligibility age of the mandatory concessionary fares scheme to bring it in line with the state pension age

  • Public transport information and monitoring.

The consultation paper offered two options with regard to the first question: a National JTA with regional delivery boards; or a National JTA with three separate regional delivery boards.

Responses were almost equally divided on the two possibilities.

With regard to enhanced partnership working, there was a general theme that partnership approaches and collaboration between local authorities and bus operators is essential and putting this on a legislative framework was important.

Overall, there was general support for EQPs provided they contributed to improved services for passengers.

There was also broad support for improving bus services through the franchising proposals, although many respondents highlighted practical challenges and some complex issues in implementation.

As for local authorities running bus services in house, the majority of respondents were supportive of the proposal as they were with regard to changing the age when the mandatory concessionary fares scheme becomes applicable.

Finally, a huge majority (98%) agreed with the proposal to require the release of open data on routes, timetables, fares and tickets. There was clear agreement that high quality, accurate data about bus services should be freely available to the general public.

The Welsh Government has promised to incorporate this detailed feedback as it takes the proposals forward to the next stage.

Last reviewed 22 August 2019