Five years to bring West Yorkshire buses under public control – report

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Pudsey 205 service

By Chris Young, local democracy reporter

West Yorkshire’s bus services are unlikely to fully come under public control until 2027 – according to a new report.

Last summer newly elected Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin announced her intention to bring bus services under public control, describing the current system as “broken.”

At the time it was said the process would not be a quick one, but a newly released document by West Yorkshire Combined Authority reveals that any franchising arrangement may not be completed for another five years.

The Authority’s Transport Committee were given an update on bus reform last month, when members were given an idea of the scale of the work required.

A timetable of the process was included in the report.

It says the next step will be an audit into the plans. This will be followed by a three-month public consultation into franchising next Summer.

After that, work to develop the franchising scheme would begin.

The final decision on whether buses would be brought into public ownership would be made by the West Yorkshire Mayor in early 2024.

The franchising arrangements would then be introduced in phases between late 2025 and early 2027.

Free bus travel on Sunday

TRANSPORT bosses hope that a day of free travel this weekend helps encourage more people back onto West Yorkshire’s buses.

West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin has announced that on Sunday any bus journey in West Yorkshire will be free.

The day has been organised to coincide with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and the numerous events that are being held in the area to celebrate the occasion.

A similar free bus day was held last October, and although it led to a noticeable increase in the number of people travelling by bus on the day, the event was beset by bad weather.

With the weather expected to be much better than late October, it is hoped this free bus event is more popular.

The plan was discussed at a meeting of West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee last month.

Dave Pearson, head of transport at the Combined Authority said: “The free bus day on October 31 did well, and it poured down for half the day.

“The cost will be shared between us and the bus operators.”

All operators with services in West Yorkshire are supporting the day, including major operators Arriva, First and Transdev.

No ticket will be required, and passengers can make as many trips as they like within West Yorkshire.

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