A major public consultation has been launched into how buses are run in West Yorkshire.
Subject to the outcome of the consultation and a final decision by Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin, the plans could result in bus services in the county coming back under public control.
The consultation runs until January 7, with people able to have their say at numerous drop-in sessions, online at www.yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/busreform or by post.
The first consultation drop-in session will be hosted by Thornton Lodge Action Group in Brook Street, Thornton Lodge, HD1 3JW, on Monday October 23 (10am-1pm).
Currently, bus routes, timetables and fares are mainly set by private bus operators, which has led to inconsistent standards across the region.
A West Yorkshire Combined Authority assessment, which has been reviewed by an independent auditor, looked at the options for bus reform and concluded that Franchising would offer “clear strategic benefits.”
Bus Franchising would give the Combined Authority control over the routes, frequency, fares and overall standards of the region’s buses, and it would then contract bus operators to run these on its behalf.
The assessment also looked at the benefits of new partnerships with local bus operators, known as “enhanced partnership plus.”
A wide range of people – including bus operators, organisations representing passengers and members of the public – are being asked for their views on the way buses should be run in West Yorkshire.
Simon Warburton, executive director of transport at the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said: “We are currently at a crossroads on our journey towards better buses in West Yorkshire.
“We are keen to tell everyone about our plans, and this consultation is the final stage before a decision is made on how to create a better-connected region.
“No decision has been made yet and that’s why we want as many people as possible to have their say.”
Following the consultation, the results will be published, and a final decision is expected to be made on the future of West Yorkshire’s buses in Spring 2024.