Public consultation is set to be launched next week as another step towards bringing buses in West Yorkshire back under public control.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority has backed a consultation which is due to start on Tuesday October 10.

A wide range of people, including bus operators and organisations representing passengers and members of the public, will be asked for their views.

Months of detailed work resulted in an assessment — that has been independently audited — which concluded that bus franchising is the Combined Authority’s preferred option.

Bus franchising would give the Combined Authority control over the routes, frequency, fares and overall standards of the region’s buses, and contract bus operators to run these on its behalf.

The assessment stated that franchising would offer “clear strategic benefits” by helping the Combined Authority to achieve its ambitions for an integrated transport system which is more affordable, convenient and greener – improving connectivity and getting people where they need to go.

The assessment compared leaving buses as they are now with two reform options — a new partnership with bus operators, known as ‘enhanced partnership plus’, or a proposed franchising scheme.

Simon Warburton, executive director of transport, said: “This is a big step forward on our journey towards a better-connected West Yorkshire.

“Buses provide a vital public service but our analysis shows that the way they are run needs to change to achieve our ambitions for better buses.

“The consultation will give people and organisations from across West Yorkshire and beyond a chance to have their say on our proposals.”

More details on the consultation — set to start on October 10 — will be made available shortly.

It is currently programmed for Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin to make a final decision on how the region’s buses should be run in Spring 2024.