David Brown, who leads on bus issues for pteg, said:
‘Over the last few years we have argued long and hard that decisions over how local bus subsidies are allocated are best made locally. Today’s announcement shows that we have made progress with fuel subsidies for socially necessary bus services to be fully devolved and with the Better Bus Area fund opening up a route to full local determination of bus subsidies in the future.
However, we are concerned that the effect of the Better Bus Area proposals will be to discriminate against those transport authorities for whom a Quality Contract is the most appropriate way forward for improving bus services. The Government has rightly said that it should be for every PTE or Local Transport Authority to make its own decision about which powers it feels will best meet local aspirations and circumstances. This principle should extend to funding mechanisms like the Better Bus Areas fund or create similar funds to support the delivery of Quality Contracts, and this is a point we will be making strongly during the consultation period.’
pteg represents the six largest urban transport authorities outside London which serve eleven million people in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear and the West Midlands. Half of all bus trips outside London are made in PTE areas.
For more contact Jonathan Bray on 0113 251 7445 / 0781 804 1485