Image source: Wikimedia 2014.NHS Confederation, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Salford residents have expressed their frustration with the bus services to Manchester, but have also suggested Manchester Council’s changes don’t go far enough.
Justice Julian Knowles has ruled against Stagecoach and Rotala’s attempt to block Manchester buses from becoming re-franchised for the first time in 36 years.
This historic case is cause for celebration in the Greater Manchester Council who, for years, campaigned for public transport to be in the hands of the people of Manchester.
NHS worker and Salford resident, Elaine said: “I’m waiting for a 67 to go to a nursing home to see my mum, and that’s going to cost me £5.50. That’s just ridiculous!”
“The Go North West buses are expensive and its the only service up there. They need to put some services that are not just Go North West, they shouldn’t have a monopoly. Never mind the prices, it needs a big overhaul.”
Via a statement from GMCA Burnham said: “This is truly fantastic news for everyone outside London who wishes to see a return to a bus service that puts people ahead of profit.”
“Following the strong mandate from the Greater Manchester public, who wanted buses bringing back under public control, it is frustrating that the two companies concerned pursued this action and I am pleased that the court has dismissed all of their arguments.”
Pleased to say we have successfully defended the decision I took to put GM buses under public control.
We won on ALL points.
The way is now clear for the North to retake control of its public transport.
We can finally put people before profits after 36 years of the opposite.👇🏻 https://t.co/hmmfTz9TLO
— Andy Burnham (@AndyBurnhamGM) March 9, 2022
This decision allows plans to continue on TFGMs BEE Network, that aims to integrate cycling and walking routes with trams and buses.
The £1.5b in government funding is being used to standardise all bus singles to £2, pay for new buses, extend bus lanes and more. All of this will go along way to provide people commuting to Manchester from Salford with cheaper more seamless public transport travel. See here for more information.
Buses were privatised during Thatcher’s premiership in 1985 under the Transport Act. Since then bus prices, timetables and wages have been controlled by individual bus companies. Burnham aims to take all of this under the control of GMCA to reduce prices, and increase productivity and efficiency of Manchester buses.
Bus lanes have seen improvements on Chapel Street, Trinity Way and Blackfriars, with many more plans for the future.
Some Twitter users, like @Katerigby8, suggest the changes don’t go fair enough.
We don’t want a bus that sits in congestion for 40 mins trying to get out of the city center, or sails past you because it’s packed like sardines. We need The Metro extending to the huge most congested area of G M. From Bolton through to Farnworth and the Worsley M60 area. pic.twitter.com/jASF7nExif
— Katie Rigby (@katierigby8) March 9, 2022