Greater Manchester Mayor to control buses?
During her speech on the final day of Euro Bus Expo, Transport Minister, Baroness Kramer, made reference to the government’s proposal of introducing an elected Mayor in Greater Manchester, saying, ‘It is fitting that the Expo comes in the same week that the government announced a major devolution of powers. To create an elected Mayor in Greater Manchester, which will help create a more integrated and co-ordinated transport strategy in the north. We’ve seen the benefits of such a structure in London, where the Mayor has control of buses. Bus trips in the capital are up a third over the last ten years, but down by 7% in the northern cities. If supported by the public, there will be a franchise of bus services with Greater Manchester controlling routes, frequency and price, with a smartcard system similar to London’s Oyster card. And I’m sure that the innovation of commercial bus operators, working in tandem with an accountable, elected Mayor, will deliver better services for passengers.’
Concluding her speech, Baroness Kramer thanked the industry for doing a great job despite the challenges faced making particular reference to customer satisfaction, green buses and easier travel for disabled people.