Liverpool City Region steps closer to ‘bus revolution’

Local leaders in Merseyside have voted to bring road-based public transport under franchise in a move that reverses deregulation that defined the 1980s. 

The Liverpool City Region has confirmed its intention to take bus services in the area out of private hands and place them back under centralised control in what councillors have described as a bold step towards a bus revolution. 

low angle photo of brown concrete dome building

Policymakers voted unanimously for the change, which will bring an end to decades of industry deregulation, with franchising now confirmed as the preferred future model for all bus services running on the network. 

Currently, more than 80% of journeys using the region’s public transport system are on buses, accounting for over 400,000 trips each day. Critics have long blasted private companies tasked with keeping services operable and timetabling, citing the prioritisation of profits over people and localised needs. 

The new plans will also see services integrate more successfully with other modes of transport, including the area’s new fleet of publicly-owned trains. Simpler ticketing, including the introduction of a tap-and-go system, is also being promised as part of what Metro Mayor for the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotherham, is calling a ‘London-style’ public transport system.

‘Good public transport is the hallmark of any modern, successful city region and buses are its backbone. Hundreds of thousands of people rely on our region’s buses every single day. They are a lifeline for connecting people in our communities with each other and opportunity,’ said Mr Rotherham. ‘This vote is the culmination of years of hard work, but it is only one step towards achieving my vision for a London-style transport network. I want to make travelling round our region cheaper, quicker, greener and more reliable.’

Image credit: Neil Martin



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