Take Control of Bristol's Buses
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We the undersigned call on Mayor Marvin Rees, Regional Mayor Tim Bowles, Bristol City Council and the West of England Combined Authority to work towards a bus franchising scheme for Bristol.
Transport in Bristol is in chaos. Car usage has been on the rise for years, resulting in greater congestion and pollution. In the face of this, our city desperately needs improved public transport.
However, our current system relies on private companies running bus routes with very little oversight from the council. Private firms can change routes, amend timetables or even scrap services with short notice and without consultation with the council or residents. This allows large bus companies to focus on making huge profits without a care for the local communities that rely on their services. This is not good enough and we must demand better.
The Bus Services Act 2017 devolved powers to regional mayors to establish bus franchising schemes. Under such a scheme, the authority can decide the routes and timetables that the city needs, then the bus companies have to bid to run them. This is already how things work in London and would allow us to take back control of our public transport for the good of the whole city.
The West of England Combined Authority stated it would produce its Bus Strategy in 2017, but is now expected to be opened up for consultation in January 2019, over a year late.
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