UPDATE* WE WON! See below!
OUR buses aren't good enough.
Right now, bus companies do what they like and it's a free market wild west. We need public control.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, has said he will regulate your buses. Regulation would mean affordable fares, and more evening and weekend services, all with a smart ticket where daily spending is capped.
The final decision hasn't been made. Sign the petition now to make your buses better.
See below for an update on the campaign!
Greater Manchester has won - our buses are being brought back into public control
We're delighted to say that after years of work, Andy Burnham the Mayor of Greater Manchester has announced that he's bringing buses back into public control, after TWO public consultations, years of investigations and thousands of actions from people like you, calling on him time and time again to do the right thing for passengers and staff.
Thank you to everyone that took action to make this happen - it was THOUSANDS of people that contributed to this huge win!
Have a look at some of the coverage we got on the decision below!
Greater Manchester want their buses in public control!
Polling we commissioned shows how popular this is with Greater Manchester. 76% of residents support re-regulation of buses, with only 5% disagreeing. We made it into The Daily Mirror, Manchester evening news, and Survation posted an article about the results.
80% of participants said they supported a London-style pay as you go smart card ticket which caps daily spend automatically, which is only possible with regulation.
77% believed that the fare increases seen this January on Stagecoach and First buses were not justified.
Update on the campaign
We hope you're well in what is a strange and difficult time. We're sorry that things have been quiet from Better Buses for Greater Manchester, however we too have been waiting to know the outcome of the consultation on whether we bring our buses into public control.
We're really overjoyed to tell you that the results are in, AND!
- More than 8,500 responses to the consultation were received
- 83% supported the plan to bring our buses into public control
- Only 8% didn’t support the plan!
While good news is hard to come by right now, we're really excited by this! Why? Because now we don't see how Andy Burnham could ignore this clear mandate from citizens: we want better, publicly controlled buses! And the ability to run buses for communities is more important than ever in a world with coronavirus.
You've done an amazing job - thank you! Better buses supporters filled in the consultation, shared it, told friends about it, organised family badge making sessions to raise awareness, came to the petition hand-in, made model buses to carry through the streets, held consultation sessions at libraries, did videos, interviews, blogs, leafleting, carolling and phone ring rounds. And everything you've done has paid off!
So what are the next steps?
These amazing results were presented to GM Combined Authority leaders in Early Summer 2020. While there are new requirements and uncertainties, we know that a better, regulated public transport network holds the key to moving forward. We understand that the combined authority and Transport for Greater Manchester will look at how coronavirus changes the original 'business plans' for bringing buses into public control, and present this to leaders of the GM authorities and Andy Burnham in Autumn. We hope that Burnham will make the right decision then. We’ll keep you updated on the fight for better buses. Hopefully Burnham will announce that he's listened to all of you and gone for public control soon.
Until then, thank you so much for all you do!
Who we've been covered by
We've also made it into
How are buses run now and what does regulating mean?
Currently, local authorities have no control over commercial bus services.
This means that bus operators only run services if they make a profit, and they charge you whatever they like. There is little integration across different companies and some communities have few or no buses at all.
Under a regulated network, the local authority would have planning powers to coordinate the network and demand bus companies follow certain standards through contracts.
The key difference is that companies compete for contracts, given by the local authority, to run specified services. Through bus regulation or franchising, local authorities decide the routes, frequencies, fares and quality standards for all buses. This is how services are run in London and across a lot of Europe.
We're not campaigning for publicly owned buses. It was made illegal to set up new municipally owned bus companies in 2017.
What does regulating allow us to do?
- Properly plan and expand the network - It will mean surplus profit from busy routes can be used to subsidise less busy but needed services. Right now, bus companies cherry pick only profitable routes and make a killing (Oxford road anyone?), but local authorities could use profits to give everyone a service.
- Make buses easy and affordable – They could also use income to lower fares, which have increased 55% above inflation in the last ten years. With one body running the network, we can finally have one, single, affordable ticket which can be used on any bus or tram across Greater Manchester (like the oyster card but Mancunian!)
Make buses reliable - Bus companies will have to share data - meaning buses don't disappear from the timetable or app.
Make buses frequent - Regulation means managed (reduced) profits for bus companies. We can use this money better for evening and weekend services.
Local employers who support the campaign