PEOPLE and organisations across Greater Manchester have just a few days left to have their say in a major consultation on how the city-region’s buses should be run.
More than 4,500 responses to the consultation, which closes at 11.59pm on Wednesday, January 8, have already been received.
Currently in Greater Manchester, individual bus companies decide their own routes, frequencies, tickets and standards. The public sector pays to fill in gaps 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 bus services would be under Greater Manchester’s control and GMCA would set routes, frequencies, tickets and standards while 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.
“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 available 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.