More than 4,500 responses to the consultation have already been received. People can submit responses by email to email@example.com, can visit gmconsult.org to find out more and complete an online questionnaire or write to: Freepost GM BUS CONSULTATION.
Currently in Greater Manchester, individual bus companies decide their own routes, frequencies, tickets and standards. In areas they don’t run, the public sector pays to fill in the gaps in the market where it can.
In October, Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) became the first city-region in the UK to launch a public consultation on a proposed bus franchising scheme.
This would mean that bus services would be under Greater Manchester’s control and GMCA would set the routes, frequencies, tickets and standards, while the bus operators would run the services.
This would allow buses to work better with the rest of public transport – as part of Our Network – Greater Manchester’s vision for a joined-up transport system.
Deputy Mayor Sir Richard Leese said: “Buses are central to Greater Manchester’s transport system. However, currently Greater Manchester has very limited control of its bus network as the bus companies decide where the services go. But a change in the law means Greater Manchester can change the way we run our buses. The assessment, which has been independently audited, has found the best way to deliver our vision for buses is the proposed franchising scheme.
“No decision has been made at this stage and we want to hear from as many people as possible, even if they are not regular bus users, so we get a wide spectrum of views. It’s encouraging that we have already heard from thousands of people, but I don’t want anyone to miss out on this once-in-a-generation chance to help shape our city-region’s future bus network.”
Following the public consultation, GMCA will publish a report giving its response. The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, will then decide whether or not to implement the proposed franchising scheme.
Responses can be made online at gmconsult.org (online survey or downloadable questionnaire). Written responses and questionnaires (also in public buildings across Greater Manchester) can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to Freepost GM BUS CONSULTATION.
Any questions can be made by email to email@example.com or by phoning 0161 244 1100.