Liverpool takes another step towards franchising
The Liverpool City Region has moved closer to implementing bus franchising in the city.
Leaders on the Combined Authority voted unanimously to confirm franchising as the region’s preferred future model for running the bus network and services.
More than 80% of journeys on the city region’s public transport network (over 400,000 a day) are made by bus.
The move is a key part of Liverpool City Region Mayor, Steve Rotheram’s, pledge to reform the region’s transport by building a London-style system he believes will make travelling around quicker, cheaper, greener and more reliable. The proposal includes attempting to better integrate the city’s buses with other modes of transport and the introduction of a tap-and-go system with daily fare caps.
Franchising would give the local authority control over when and where buses operate, rather than leaving service and network decisions to private operators. In addition, the authority could take greater control over the bus fleet.
This latest decision on franchising Liverpool’s buses triggers the next stage of the process, which includes additional work to complete the bus franchise business case and an independent assessment, before launching a public consultation.
“Thanks to devolution we have the power to roll back the 1980s and reverse four decades of disastrous deregulation” – Steve Rotheram
Steve Rotheram said: “Good public transport is the hallmark of any modern, successful city region and buses are its backbone. Hundreds of thousands of people rely on our region’s buses every single day. They are a lifeline for connecting people in our communities with each other and opportunity.
“But too many feel left behind by a system that simply does not work for them. In too many places, public transport is too confusing, too unreliable, and too expensive. Liverpool City Centre can sometimes feel as far away as London.
“Today we have taken a massive step towards putting that right. Thanks to devolution we have the power to roll back the 1980s and reverse four decades of disastrous deregulation. We’re taking back control of our bus network and running it in the interests of local people – not private shareholders.
“This vote is the culmination of years of hard work, but it is only one step towards our achieving my vision for a London-style transport network. I want to make travelling round our region cheaper, quicker, greener and more reliable – and to simplify ticketing under a tap-and-go system that means you’ll always pay the cheapest fare.
“Our region should not have to settle for a second-class service. This is a massive step towards building the transport network our 1.6m citizens deserve.”