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Leeds Councillors Disagree Over West Yorkshire Bus Proposals

Locals are having their say on how buses in West Yorkshire should be run, however there is disagreement on the best way forward. 

The departures board at Leeds City Bus Station

West Yorkshire Combined Authority have put forward two proposals for public consultation, which will result in either the buses continuing to be run by private companies as they are now, or a system of franchising, where the authority has overall control. 

Councillor Michael Millar, Labour representative for the Leeds ward of Kippax and Methley, says the franchising model would be his preferred result.  

He said: “It takes more control out of the bus companies’ hands. 

“Franchising would allow the local authority to firstly set the routes, to ensure that buses actually go where people need them to go, they’d be able to lower the fares, and it would increase reliability because there’d be less need to drive profits for shareholders.” 

However Neil Buckley, Conservative councillor for the Alwoodley ward and also the party’s local spokesman on transport, is concerned about the financial risk the franchising model would pose. 

He said: “The buses have been in long term decline in passenger numbers for thirty or forty years. 

“We think it’s too expensive and too risky for the taxpayer.” 

The consultation period runs until January, and it is expected that West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin will make a decision on which option to proceed with in March. 

What do you think?