PTEs welcomes TSC report as biggest opportunity in twenty years for a fresh start for the urban bus

Thursday, October 26, 2006

pteg today welcomed the all-party House of Commons Transport Select Committee report on the future of the industry as the chance to establish a new consensus on turning around the twenty years of decline in bus use since deregulation.

Chair of pteg, Roy Wicks, said:

'We welcome the report's conclusion that in our areas deregulation is not working, cannot be made to work, and that PTEs should now be given the powers they need to specify and regulate services.'

'If the Committee's recommendations are accepted by Government then we would be able to specify bus networks that are integrated, reliable and modern. We would then work with the operators of those networks to attract new passengers to the bus in a way which helps underpin the sustainable and equitable regeneration of the major conurbations outside London.'

'The MPs are right to call for change. In our areas, since bus services became a free for all when deregulation was brought in twenty years ago, passenger numbers have halved and fares have increased by 86%. Despite the PTEs investing half a billion pounds a year in the bus industry, we don't have the controls we need to prevent continuing above inflation fares rises, service cuts and patronage decline.'

'We agree with the Committee that we need to try a fresh approach and we are confident that if the Secretary of State follows up on the committee's sensible recommendations then we can deliver the better bus networks that our areas need.'

ENDS

For more information please contact Jonathan Bray on 0781 804 1485 / 0113 251 7445

30% of bus journeys take place in the PTE areas of Greater Manchester, Merseyside, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Midlands, Tyne and Wear plus Strathclyde Partnership for Transport