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North East wants to take back control over bus routes and fare prices

The North East wants to follow Greater Manchester’s lead in taking control of its bus services away from private companies and back into public hands.

In a crucial decision on Wednesday, a judge ruled in favour of mayor Andy Burham’s plans to create a London-style franchising system in which private operators will have to bid to run services – with fares, timetables and routes set by local authorities instead.

Andy Burnham at Ashton-Under-Lyne bus interchange announcing his decision on bus franchising . 25 March 2021 (Image: Manchester Evening News)

Bus firms Stagecoach and Rotala had claimed the scheme was “irrational” as they brought a judicial review against it, but it has now been deemed lawful.

The ruling has been hailed as a green light for the rest of the North to follow suit and create transport networks that put “people ahead of profit”.

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