Wales sets out roadmap to bus franchising


The Welsh Government has set out the next steps on the way to franchised bus services, which it says will radically shake-up the way public transport works in the country.

The devolved administration said its Our Roadmap to Bus Reform document builds on the proposals of its bus white paper.

Lee Waters

Lee Waters, the minister with responsibility for transport, who has announced that he will step down shortly described the move as ‘the most far-reaching set of reforms taking place anywhere in the UK’.

He said: ‘We’re moving from a privatised system that puts profit before people towards one that will plan buses and trains together around the needs of passengers.

‘Our aim is to create one joined up network, one integrated timetable which you can access using one ticket. That way we will make it easier to understand how to use public transport, and it will make journeys seamless.’

The devolved administration said the current system where bus operators run services based on where they can maximise profit will be replaced by a system of franchised contracts.

It said that it, Transport for Wales, and local councils will work together to design bus networks that link key services and tie up with other buses and with train timetables all using one ticket.

Companies will then be able to bid to run the whole package of routes for an area.

The Roadmap document sets out year by year targets of how the Welsh Government and Transport for Wales plan to deliver franchising.

The Welsh Government said the new approach will be rolled out on a geographical basis and will take several years.

Mr Waters added: ‘It’s not going to be an easy fix and it’s going to take time, but bus reform is central to creating an integrated public transport network and tackling transport poverty across Wales.’

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