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March 06 2018
By Mel Holley

Mel is the Editor at routeONE magazine. He has more than 30 years’ experience in road and rail transport journalism.

Manchester finds £11.5m to pay for
bus franchising investigation

A total of £11.5m has been set aside by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) to progress plans to introduce bus franchising across the region.

The scheme is being championed by elected Labour mayor Andy Burnham

The money will be used to prepare a business case for a franchising scheme, alongside “other options that could improve bus services” on the Greater Manchester area.

It says it will also seek advice on its plans from an independent auditor.

TfGM says: “It is currently expected that Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) will consider the proposals this summer, and make a decision on whether to proceed and hold a public consultation.

“This consultation would give the public an opportunity to have their say on TfGM's assessment of a proposed franchising scheme.”

It is expected that a decision on whether to go ahead with franchising would be made by the end of the year.

The scheme is being championed by elected Labour mayor Andy Burnham who has talked about introducing a “London style” franchised system. “Yes, we will be moving ahead with the powers we have with plans to re-regulate the buses.

“We can have a regulated system like London. Their system is light years ahead of ours.”

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