While over two thousand responses have been received so far, there’s still time for people from across the city-region and beyond to have their say in the consultation, which runs until midnight Wednesday 8 January 2020.
People can submit responses by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, can visit gmconsult.org to find out more and complete an online questionnaire or post a written questionnaire 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: “While the response rate has been encouraging with over 2,500 completed responses received, now is not the time for people to be silent or sit on their hands if they have strong views on how their buses should be run.
“We know buses are vital for Greater Manchester, as they play a major role in connecting people to work, the shops and essential services. But despite the city-region growing, bus use is falling.
“A change in the law means Greater Manchester can choose the way we run our buses. The assessment which has been independently audited, found the best way to deliver our vision for buses is the proposed franchising scheme.
“We believe that the proposed bus franchising scheme would allow Greater Manchester to do buses differently, improve services and help create a London-style transport system in the north that works better for passengers and the areas we live in.
“It is important to note that no decision has been made yet. We want to hear everyone’s views, even if people are not regular bus users, as this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for people to have their say on shaping the region’s bus market now and in the future.”
Over 20 public information and drop-in events have been held across Greater Manchester to date – with more planned.
Following the public consultation, GMCA will publish a report giving its response. The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, would 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 email@example.com or posted to “Freepost GM BUS CONSULTATION”.
Any questions can be made by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 0161 244 1100.