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Right now, private companies control West Yorkshire’s bus network. They dictate prices, routes and timetables. The result has been catastrophic - passenger numbers have plummeted, prices have risen and services have shrunk.
West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), which is made up of your local Council leaders, has the power to tame this Wild West market, and take our buses back under public control.
The privatisation of buses has been a total failure. Outside London, passenger numbers have fallen by half and average prices have risen 35% above inflation since the 1980s.
West Yorkshire's bus services are up for sale. Local Council leaders are currently discussing what to do about it. And they'll be making a decision soon. But franchising (taking buses under public control) is not currently an option they're considering!
The privatisation of buses has been a total failure. Outside London, passenger numbers have fallen by half and average prices have risen 35% above inflation since the 1980s. It’s a shambles for passengers, but it's great for bus companies and their shareholders who've made serious profits.
But without franchising, which gives local government the power to set prices, routes and bus frequency, this Wild West market stays open for another big company to come in and make further cuts to your local bus service.
FirstBus, Arriva West Yorkshire have recently announced they want to sell their bus services
Under the 2017 Bus Services Act, West Yorkshire's council leaders have the power to take buses back into public control through franchising - but so far they've failed to act.
We know franchising is more effective. It's how it is run in London where the market is regulated by Transport for London (TfL) - buses are more regular, prices are capped, and essential routes are protected. We want West Yorkshire's council leaders to establish something like TfL for West Yorkshire.
Franchising gives us -
- control over the bus network, which would mean companies would be forced to put on certain, less profitable routes and more regular services.
- control over fares, so we are the ones that set the prices.
- control over ticketing, which could mean one single, affordable ticket for the whole of West Yorkshire, like it is in London.
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