I was proud to join councillors and campaigners from across the constituency this month to campaign for better buses for Greater Manchester. I know that bus regulation doesn’t sound like a very jazzy subject, perhaps, but the quality of buses in an area is fundamental to people getting to work, getting to school, getting to shop, and to our local economy. What we want to see is for the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, to bring forward the kind of bus regulation that other parts of the country already enjoy, particularly London, because we know that is fundamental to getting better bus services in our area.
At the moment, we’ve barely any regulation at all – bus companies have the power to chop and change services with no consideration of community need. Being towards the extremity of Greater Manchester, this has led to a reduction of services, particular in areas like Hollingworth, Carrbrook and parts of Mossley, which bus companies have more or less let fall off the decent bus route map. We recently saw the 340 service cut effectively leaving the residents of Carrbrook isolated every evening after 6pm and all-day Sunday. We also can’t do sensible joined up ticketing by Oyster-style card, phone or debit card, because bus companies here can’t currently be made to share day rates etc across company lines. I’ve campaigned on this issue for years, including speaking in parliament repeatedly. Now it’s time for the Mayor to make real progress on this. You can get involved in the Better Buses campaign here: