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April 25 2019
By Jessica Barton

Jessica writes for routeone, Group Tourism & Travel, and is the Editor of Coach Drivers Club News

Greater Manchester residents don’t
want to foot bill for buses

Partnership is the way to go to improve bus network efficiently, says OneBus CEO

Greater Manchester residents “are being widely misled by campaign groups with political agendas that do not concern what’s best for bus passengers,” says Gary Nolan, Chief Executive of OneBus.

It comes as the results of a survey carried out by YouGov, on behalf of OneBus, were revealed yesterday (23 April).

Around 1,300 people across the region took part in the independent study to find out what Greater Manchester thinks and desires from its bus network and infrastructure.

Partnership structure

The Mayor and Greater Manchester Combined Authority are currently evaluating an alternative franchising option, which would see taxpayers become responsible for the full cost of the bus network.

However, over three-quarters (76%) of respondents indicated that they would refuse to accept further increases to council taxes to fund public transport.

Says Mr Nolan: “What we have learned from this research is that local people are being widely misled. Despite a number of widely-perpetuated myths, passengers want the same improvements we are committed to delivering.

“The fact is, without action on road infrastructure to tackle congestion, no improvements will be forthcoming, regardless of whether buses operate in a franchised system or a partnership.

“By implementing a partnership structure, we believe improvements can be made faster and more efficiently for the region, and without any of the added burdens on the taxpayer that would occur under a franchising system.”

Further results

The findings also revealed that flexible ticketing, integrated journeys and faster journey times are at the top of the agenda for passengers. The results also show the majority of respondents (65%) are unaware that integrated bus, tram and train tickets are already available, and over half (57%) of those surveyed overestimate the current capped weekly cost of bus travel.

Nearly four in ten (39%) said that flexible ticketing would encourage them to travel more by bus, yet over half (53%) of Greater Manchester did not realise that multi-operator tickets are already available.

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