Prime minister Boris Johnson declared his love for buses during a speech in Manchester and pledged to support delivery of ‘London style bus system’

 

 

Prime minister Boris Johnson declared local bus services to be among his government’s domestic priorities in a speech in Manchester last month.

Johnson told an audience at the city’s Science and Industry Museum that he wanted to improve transport services within cities -not just between cities – so that “people don’t have to drive”.

“That means buses,” he said. “I know a lot about buses, believe me. I love buses … I will begin as a matter of urgency the transformation of local bus services – starting here today in Manchester.”

The former mayor of London said he would work with the mayor of Greater Manchester,  Andy Burnham, on his plans to deliver “a London style bus system” using the 2017 Bus Services Act.

I want local partnerships between the private sector, which operates the buses, and a public body, which coordinates them

“I want local partnerships between the private sector, which operates the buses, and a public body, which coordinates them,” he said.

Johnson pointed out that bus use in the capital “ where we have all these things” has almost doubled over the past 25 years while it has fallen by more than a third in other metropolitan areas over the same period.

“I think we can see the first results, here in Greater Manchester, within a few months,” he said. “And I want the same for any other part of the country where local leaders want to do it.

He added: “Good bus connections, good transport connectivity, is also vital to so many of the towns that feel left behind.”

 
This article appears in the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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