New PM promises bus improvements

07 August 2019

The new Prime Minister has promised to transform local bus services as ‘a matter of urgency’.

Boris Johnson said he would use provisions in the Bus Services Act 2017 to bring about change and drive improvements.

Giving a speech at Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, he said the £3.6bn Towns’ Fund could be accessed to fund ‘London-style bus systems’ in other metropolitan areas.

“I will begin, as a matter of urgency, the transformation of local bus services starting in Manchester,” the Prime Minister said.

“I will work with the Mayor on his plans to deliver a London-style bus system in the area under the powers which we gave him under the Bus Services Act 2017.

“These service changes will include: higher frequency with low and zero-emission buses and more bus priority corridors and networks that ‘are easier to understand and use.”

He added, “I want local partnerships between the private sector that operate them and a public body that coordinates them. In London, where we have all those things, passenger journeys have risen by 97% in 25 years. In other metropolitan areas, where they don’t, ridership has fallen by 34% over the same period.

“You can see first results here in Manchester within a few months, and I want the same for any other part of the country where local leaders want to do it.”