Manchester’s bus network has been brought under public control with the local authority’s first announcement being to cap fares at £2 for adults and £1 for children.
In a ruling that could pave the way for local authorities across the UK to take public services back into public ownership, the High Court last week dismissed a legal challenge brought by bus operators Stagecoach and Rotala against the reforms put forward by Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
The franchise model decided by the local authority means that private companies may continue running services, but the local authority will regulate the services. Greater Manchester will become the first area outside London since the 1980s to have a regulated bus system.
“People need to be able to get to where they want to go without having to spend as much as £4 on a single trip,” said Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham.
“We will make travelling by public transport more appealing, easier and, significantly, put our people before profits.
Burnham had made it a priority to reform Greater Manchester’s fragmented bus network which allows separate companies to run disjointed and expensive services. He is seeking to create a system more similar to Transport for London which gives local leaders control over timetables, fares and ticketing.