I welcome Andy Burnham’s plan to take public control of buses and implement a bus franchising scheme for Greater Manchester.
This move, which has come off the back of a Greater Manchester Combined Authority consultation, has popular support, with over 80% of people supporting bus franchising schemes in both rounds of the consultation.
In order to encourage the use of public transport and take responsibility for the environment, we need more affordable services which are run in the interests of the residents of Stockport and Greater Manchester.
Research by We Own It has found that since privatisation under Thatcher in 1985, the number of bus trips has halved, and fares have increased by over 70% since 2005.
Currently air pollution in Greater Manchester is at dangerous levels and presents a very real health risk. Having simple fares and tickets with a daily price cap and integration between buses and trams is a good step in tackling this head on.
It is clear that Labour in power is making a real difference to the lives of people in Stockport and Greater Manchester.
I extend my thanks to the Better Buses for Greater Manchester campaign, as well as the travelling public, for their work standing up and fighting for better bus provision.