Bus Franchising Consultation in Liverpool: key milestone reached as leaflets land in letterboxes

A major consultation on the future of bus services in the Liverpool City Region has this week passed an important milestone, with more than 2500 people, businesses and other organisations having responded so far.

Launched last month by Mayor Steve Rotheram, the 12-week consultation is giving people chance to have their say on proposals to bring the local bus network under greater public control.

The news comes as households across the city region also begin to receive information leaflets through their doors.

A special ‘Moving Buses Forward’ booklet – which explains the Combined Authority’s proposed bus franchising scheme – is being distributed to every home in Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral.

The consultation is open until August 3rd, with Liverpool City Region residents, businesses, trade unions and stakeholders being encouraged to take part – whether or not they or their employees or members are regular bus users.

Cllr Liam Robinson, Leader of Liverpool City Council and Transport Portfolio Holder for Liverpool City Region Combined Authority said: “More than half a million people use the bus every day across our city region, to get to work, to school or college, to travel to appointments and to see friends and family.

“We want to see a bus service that works for everyone in our region and we believe that means taking greater local public control of the network so we can do things like set fares, routes and timetables.

“Before we can take any decision about the future of our bus services, it’s important that our residents to have their say on the plans.

“It’s fantastic to see so many responses to the consultation so far, but we want to encourage even more people to get involved. Give the ‘Moving Buses Forward’ leaflet a read when it arrives through your letterbox and, whether or not you use the bus, make your voice heard.”

Mayor Rotheram and the Combined Authority voted unanimously to confirm franchising as the region’s preferred future model for running the bus network and services. The region is one of only two in the country to run a consultation on the future model for bus services.

Currently, in the Liverpool City Region, private operators decide the routes, timetables, fares and standards. There is also limited coordination between private bus operators and other forms of public transport.

Bus franchising would give the Combined Authority greater control over fares, routes and timetables, allowing the services to be operated in the interests of local bus users with private operators running them under a contract with and to the requirements of the Combined Authority.

Reform of the region’s bus network is a key part of Mayor Rotheram’s wider ambition to build a London-style transport system that makes getting about faster, cheaper, cleaner, more reliable.

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