Trentbarton Optare Versa 840 (YJ14 BTV) at Congreave Turn, between Matlock and Bakewell, in March. The new East Midlands combined authority region is not pursuing franchising at the moment, possibly because the bus network in the area, dominated by the likes of Trentbarton and Nottingham City Transport, is working well. A partnership is in place, bus priority is in use and the region consistently scores close to the top of passenger satisfaction tables.

The announcement of a snap general election on May 22 took much of the country by surprise. With the announcement made not much more than a month before the vote is to take place, it’s difficult for Buses to cover what each of the major parties are pledging in relation to the bus industry. This July issue will go to press before manifestos have been released, while the August issue will be on sale after the election has taken place.

What we can do is cover the outcome of the recent mayoral elections (see page 44). The outcome was overwhelmingly in favour of Labour, with Andy Street in the West Midlands being perhaps the biggest loss for the Conservatives in a very close contest in the West Midlands. In most of these combined authority regions, this means bus franchising is very much on the table, though it’s clear that most political parties would consider making publicly-controlled bus networks more widespread.

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