GM re-consults on franchises as WY seeks stronger alliance

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority has launched a second public consultation on its plan to franchise the city region’s bus network, while revisited its West Yorkshire counterpart wants to upgrade its bus alliance into an enhanced partnership. 

Having reviewed its plan in light of the pandemic, the GMCA says franchising still represents the best value for money – albeit reduced from before – and is running a second public consultation, Doing Buses Differently, which closes on 29 January. 

It considered four different scenarios, which pitch different levels of passenger and economic recovery. ‘None of these scenarios is likely to be exactly what happens to travel and the bus network, but they each help to illustrate the range of potential outcomes that exist,’ it says. Patronage would decline from previous levels in all but one of these scenarios.

 Analysis by Grant Thornton suggests that revenue could decline by between £82million and £96million over the five years of a transitional period to full franchising. The GMCA says it would need to consider increasing fares, reducing the network or increasing local authority contributions to fill the gap. 

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