Breakthrough on bus policy

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

pteg has welcomed Government plans to give PTEs greater powers to regulate bus services as a ‘the biggest breakthrough on bus policy for years.’

Kieran Preston, Chair of pteg, said:

‘We are delighted that the Government plans to give city region transport authorities stronger powers over bus and rail. This will help us to deliver the integrated public transport networks that our passengers want, and which equivalent European cities take for granted.’

‘We remain convinced that our tram and light rail proposals are vital to the future prosperity and development of Britain’s core cities. We are steadfast in our determination that these schemes should go-ahead. Complex forms of PFI have inflated the cost of light rail schemes and we are working with the Government to find more cost effective ways of procuring and financing tram schemes. We share the Government’s belief that the recent National Audit Office report into Light Rail has provided a blueprint on how we can deliver tram schemes faster, better and cheaper - and we will work with the NAO and Government to achieve this.’

‘We remain concerned about the level of funding available for public transport in the regions. Congestion charging has the potential to raise additional funding in the future but our city regions need better public transport now.’

‘The view from the city regions is that we welcome the extra powers – but we also need the extra resources to go with them.’