Jeff Smith, Labour MP for Manchester Withington, has welcomed the results of a consultation on how buses should be run in Greater Manchester.
The new reports show that the vast majority of respondents support the GMCA’s proposals for a bus franchising scheme.
In total 8,516 people and organisations took part in the public consultation on the proposed scheme, which ran from 14 October 2019 to 8 January 2020.
Of the 5,905 respondents who answered the question on whether they supported or opposed the proposed bus franchising scheme, 83% said they supported the proposed scheme.
Some of the most common reasons for support included that it would be an improvement on the current system of deregulated buses; that it would help deliver an integrated and coordinated public transport network and that it would provide better value for money.
“It’s great to see such widespread support for GMCA’s proposal to franchise our bus system in Greater Manchester. I believe franchising will give us the opportunity to create a better coordinated network, with more affordable fares and an improved standard of service. The consultation shows that a big majority of people who use buses in Greater Manchester feel the same.
“I hope that this clear mandate will encourage the combined authority to proceed with the plans as soon as possible, while taking into account the impact of coronavirus on our travel network.”
Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, said:
“I’ve always said that Greater Manchester’s bus market needs to change and it’s even more important now as we move into recovery from the coronavirus.
“It’s great to see that over 8,500 organisations, businesses and the public have taken the opportunity to have their say on the proposals for a franchising scheme. Many have told us about their frustration at a fractured system of different operators, different tickets, different prices and disjointed timetables. They understand how a more integrated system is beneficial not only to them but for the city-region as a whole.
“They want to see a more integrated and coordinated public transport system that delivers better value for money. While we now need to consider the impact of the health pandemic on our services, this consultation process has made clear what it is people want to see.”