Bus services could be franchised as part of a London-style public transport system for Liverpool, according to Liverpool’s Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram.Â
The current bus networks in Liverpool are open to any bus companies, they can pick up passengers on any route and charge as much as they like for journeys.
This model was brought about by the deregulation act in 1986.
Combined authority papers, set to be published later today (February 20), recommend that bus franchising should be the leading option for the future of Liverpool’s bus network and services.
This recommendation is based on two years of work, including the year-long ‘Big Bus Debate,’ where local people shared their experiences of bus travel and what they would like to see in the future.
The new franchising model will mean that locally elected politicians will be given the power to set bus routes, timetables and fares.
The combined authority would decide on these factors by looking at what people want, and then private bus operators would be able to bid to run the service.
If the combined authority approves the recommendations, Merseytravel officers will complete a detailed and independently audited assessment of bus franchising.
Steve Rotheram said: ‘Our communities rely on buses to connect them to work, education, family, hospitals and other public services, but too often, the current, de-regulated system is letting people down.
‘People have told me through the Big Bus Debate that buses don’t run at the times they need them, and that too many people find the current system to be confusing, unreliable and expensive. This has to change.
‘I am determined to deliver a London-style integrated transport system for Liverpool. Whichever model we choose, the outcome must be the same: a bus service that is simple, punctual, reliable and affordable.
‘The system must be designed around what we know our community and local economy need, it must provide people with a genuine quality alternative to the car which will help to tackle the climate emergency.’
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