Liverpool Mayor launches bus reform consultation

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The move comes as Liverpool City Region prepares to launch a fleet of Alexander Dennis Enviro400FCEV buses into service with Arriva and Stagecoach. LIVERPOOL CITY REGION

People are being given the chance to have their say on plans to reform bus services in the Liverpool City Region as part of a new consultation launched by Mayor Steve Rotheram. Residents, businesses, trade unions and stakeholders are being asked to give feedback on a new bus franchising scheme proposed by the Mayor and the Combined Authority using the powers available through devolution to reform the region’s bus services.

The Mayor and the Combined Authority voted unanimously last year to confirm franchising as the region’s preferred future model for running the bus network and services, making the region one of only two places in the country to go to consultation so far. Reform of the region’s bus network is a key part of the Mayor’s wider ambition to build a ‘London-style’ transport system for the region. Mayor Steve 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.

“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. 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 an assessment which compared it with other options. Under the plans, there would be the opportunity for buses to integrate more effectively with other modes of transport, and ticketing would be made simpler with the introduction of a tap-in tap-out system with daily fare caps.

The public consultation will run until 3 August 2023; a series of roadshows are also being held across all six boroughs of the city region to give people an opportunity to discuss the proposed changes and to complete consultation questionnaires.