Two events are scheduled to take place in Bradford as part of a comprehensive consultation regarding the future of buses in West Yorkshire.

These events will provide the public with an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s proposals for bus reform. Attendees can also learn about the process of expressing their opinions on the management of buses and pose questions to the project team.

Taking place at Bradford City Hall on November 23, 2023, two 90-minute sessions mark a significant milestone as the consultation reaches its midway point. Prior to this, various drop-in events occurred across the region, complemented by 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 ongoing 12-week consultation, concluding on January 7, 2024, invites individuals to contribute their opinions on the operational aspects of buses in West Yorkshire, which are currently primarily managed by private operators. An assessment conducted by the Combined Authority, independently reviewed, indicates that Franchising would provide “clear strategic benefits.”

Under Bus Franchising, the Combined Authority would assume control over routes, frequency, fares, and overall standards of the region’s buses, subsequently contracting bus operators to operate on its behalf. The assessment also explored the potential advantages of forming new partnerships with local bus operators, termed ‘enhanced partnership plus.’

Depending on the consultation’s outcomes and a final decision by Mayor Tracy Brabin, these plans could lead to the reintegration of bus services in West Yorkshire under public control.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford Council and the transport portfolio lead for West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said; “Buses are such an important part of our economy, getting people to work, study and leisure opportunities. The proposals drafted by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority for how bus services might be commissioned and run in West Yorkshire in the future are significant.

“I’d encourage people to have their say before a decision is made on how they are operated.”

Post-consultation, the results will be made public, with a final decision anticipated in Spring 2024 regarding the future management of West Yorkshire’s buses.