Getting on the buses

2 Dec 2019 03:26
Published by: Kian French

GREATER Manchester is launching a major public consultation to get a wide range of views on how the city-region's bus services should be run.

People across the region and beyond are being invited to have their say on a proposed bus franchising scheme through the consultation, which runs until midnight on Wednesday January 8 next year.

A series of drop-in events are being held across Greater Manchester and people can find out more and give their views at as well as by email or writing to a freepost address.

Currently, in Greater Manchester, individual bus companies decide the routes, timetables, fares and standards.

There is no coordination between bus services and other forms of public transport, and critics of the present situation say bus services across Greater Manchester are "inconsistent".

Bus franchising is currently in place in London and other global cities. If franchising was introduced, Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) would coordinate the bus network - including routes, timetables, fares and standards - and contract bus companies to run the services.

GMCA is the first city-region in the UK to launch a public consultation on a proposed bus franchising scheme.

Deputy Mayor Sir Richard Leese said: "This is a pivotal stage in Greater Manchester's ambitions to deliver a bus network that works better for passengers and our economy.

"We think that the proposed bus franchising scheme is the best way to deliver a joined-up public transport network with simple fares and ticketing and improved customer experience that passengers in Greater Manchester deserve.

"We are leading the way as the first combined authority to make use of new legislation and ask people for their views on whether or not this scheme is the best way to improve their bus services.

"However, no decisions have been made yet, which is why we want to hear what people think. Anyone can take part in the consultation, there is no lower age limit.

"You don't have to live in Greater Manchester or be a regular bus user. In fact, we would like to hear from people who don't currently travel by bus.

"It's important that everyone has their say now. It's not just bus passengers who could stand to gain.

"Our assessment shows that, if introduced, bus franchising could have wide-ranging economic benefits over the long-term. So, whether you catch the bus or not, we want to hear from you."

Following the public consultation, GMCA will publish a report giving its response. The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, would then decide whether to implement the proposed franchising scheme.

More details can be found at Any questions can be made by email to or by phoning 0161 244 1100.

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