England’s Bus Services Bill promises to deliver greater choice, greater flexibility and greater growth

 

mhd_greaterMHD Partnership’s vision of what a franchised bus service could look like in Greater Manchester could become a reality as soon as 2018

 

Orange buses look set to return to Greater Manchester following the publication of the Bus Services Bill last week.

The bill, the first piece of bus-specific legislation for many years, will enable England’s combined authorities to introduce new franchising regimes as well as stronger partnerships. It will be the most radical structural change to the bus industry since deregulation in 1986.

Greater Manchester is expected to be the first authority to use these new powers, enabling the introduction of franchising in 2018/19. Greater Manchester’s buses featured an orange and off-white identity between 1969 and the mid-1990s, when First and Stagecoach established themselves as the region’s dominant operators. Last week, marketing agency. The MHD Partnership revealed its own unofficial reworking of this brand (pictured above).

Branding agencies across England could soon be working on assignments to create identities for franchised bus networks. However, the Bus Services Bill also offers a greater choice of partnership working arrangements. The legislation creates two new types of partnership, the ‘Advanced Quality Partnership’ and the ‘Enhanced Partnership’.

Commenting on the bill, roads minister Andrew Jones said: “Good bus services can help cut congestion and deliver better journeys for hard-working people, helping them get around and get on. We are determined to increase bus usage and these measures are designed to give councils access to a range of powers to help deliver regular, reliable services for all.”

 

The full story appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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