Plans to bring Liverpool City Region’s bus services and network under greater local authority control has gone out to public consultation. Under mayor Steve Rotheram’s franchising proposals, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority would be given more control over fares, routes and timetables.
Reform of the region’s bus network is a key part of Mayor Rotheram’s wider ambition to build a London-style transport system.
Rotheram said: “Hundreds of thousands of people in our area rely on buses to get about every day. For many, they are a vital lifeline that connects them to the outside world, to new opportunities, and to each other.
“Yet, for far too long, people in our communities have been forced to contend with a second-class bus service that’s too confusing, too unreliable, and too expensive. I want this to become a thing of the past – because we simply can no longer afford to accept a public transport service that leaves behind the very people who need it most.”
Rotheram has committed to using the powers available to elected mayors through devolution to “revolutionise” the region’s bus services.
“Using the powers that devolution has given to us, I want to build a London-style integrated transport system that’s faster, cheaper, cleaner and more reliable – and that starts by taking back control of our buses to give us greater control over fares, routes and timetables,” he said. “Working together, I want to put the ‘public’ back into public transport and build a fairer system that puts passengers before profit.
“As we move a step closer to making that ambition a reality, I want our residents to have their say on our plans. So, whether you regularly take the bus or not, I’m encouraging everyone to get involved in this consultation and make their voice heard.”
The proposed bus franchising scheme was developed as part of a comprehensive assessment comparing it with other options.
Under the plans, there would be the opportunity for buses to integrate more effectively with other modes of transport, including the region’s new fleet of publicly-owned hydrogen buses and £500m trains, said Rotheram. Ticketing would also be made simpler and more convenient with the introduction of a tap-in tap-out system, with daily fare caps enabling passengers to always pay the cheapest fare across the whole network.
The public consultation on proposed reforms to bus services in the Liverpool City Region will run until 3 August 2023, with people being invited to take part in the consultation even if they are not regular bus users.
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