Two events will be held in Huddersfield as part of a major consultation on the future of buses in West Yorkshire.

This will give the public the chance to learn more about the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s proposals for bus reform, explain how they can have their say on how buses should be run and ask questions to the project team.

Two 90-minute sessions will be held at the Hudawi Centre in Great Northern Street, Huddersfield, on Tuesday December 5 – at 2pm-3.30pm and 5.30pm-7pm.

A series of drop-in events has already taken place across the region, along with an online webinar.

Simon Warburton, executive director of transport at the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said: “This is a really important decision for West Yorkshire so it’s vital that we hear the views of as many people as we can – both bus users and non-bus users.

“We’ve had a fantastic response to the consultation so far, and now people have a chance to come along, ask a question to the project team, and learn more about our proposals in person.”

The 12-week consultation, which closes on January 7 2024, asks people to have their say on how buses should be run in West Yorkshire.

Currently, buses are mainly run by private operators. A Combined Authority assessment, which has been reviewed by an independent auditor, has 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.’

Subject to the outcome of the consultation and a final decision by Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin (above), the plans could result in bus services in West Yorkshire coming back under public control.

Clr Cathy Scott, leader of Kirklees Council and Cabinet member for transport, said: “Engagement from residents is crucial for reshaping our bus services. To get the best result from the consultation it’s vital that we hear from bus users and members of the public who don’t travel by bus. 

“This will help us to understand what could be done to encourage them to use a modern fit for purpose service in the future. It’s about creating improved, inclusive transportation benefiting all communities.

“The proposals aim for a significant shift towards reliable and accessible transport, creating a connected network.

“Collaboration with local authorities and bus operators is key in achieving future-fit services and climate change goals. A robust public transport alternative is essential to reduce car use and promote active travel.”

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.

If you can’t get to the event in Huddersfield and want to have your say, you can find the online consultation here