Kelly's tough stance on bus wars welcomed
Secretary of State for Transport Ruth Kelly's conference pledge to clamp down on the 'bus wars' that clog up city streets was welcomed today by city region transport authorities.
Ms Kelly's announcement followed a commitment to more powers over buses for local authorities in the Prime Minister's conference address.
Chair of pteg and Director General of South Yorkshire PTE, Roy Wicks, said:
'The bus wars that periodically break out result in confusion for bus passengers and congested roads for everyone. Our cities are changing for the better - they need good quality bus services to support that growth. What they don't need is for their city centre streets to be used as battle grounds between bus companies, while council estates are cut off and new developments remain unserved.'
'The new team of Ministers have listened to the city regions - and the message that we need more influence over our bus services has been received loud and clear.’
'The Local Transport Bill that Ruth Kelly is bringing in will give us more of the tools we need to ensure that bus services do get better and that the bus war era is brought to an end. We are now working with the Government to strengthen sections of the Bill. In particular it should be for locally accountable transport authorities to determine how best local bus services should be provided, not the unaccountable traffic commissioners. There also needs to be robust arrangements to protect the interests of passengers and staff during the transition period between deregulation ending and a franchise beginning.'