GMCA backs Burnham’s franchising plan

Andy Burnham

Greater Manchester Combined Authority has backed plans put forward by the region’s directly elected mayor, Andy Burnham, to become the first authority in England to use powers in the Bus Services Act 2017 to take control of bus services. Last Friday, the authority voted to take the next step towards franchising – the appointment of an independent audit to…

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Birmingham and Leeds delay charging CAZs

NO2 Pollution

Birmingham and Leeds city councils have blamed central government for the delayed implementation of their charging clean air zones, with no new timetable for implementation. The councils planned to introduce schemes in January next year but say this is now impractical because of the Government’s delay to completing a web-based vehicle checking system. Birmingham says…

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Edinburgh crowned ‘congestion champions’


Traffic congestion got worse in two-thirds of the 25 UK cities included in TomTom Traffic Index, a report detailing the traffic situation in 403 cities in 56 countries around the world. Mumbai took the top spot this year with drivers in the Indian city expecting to spend an average of 65% extra travel time stuck…

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FirstGroup explores options for its UK bus business

Britain’s bus industry faces a huge shake-up as FirstGroup prepares to separate its UK Bus operations from the rest of its business. Chief executive Matthew Gregory said a range of options were on the table for UK bus. “They include a sale, either in whole or in parts, [or] it could include partnerships, it could…

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UK’s largest bus builder sold in £320m deal

The UK’s largest bus builder, Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), claims that its sale to Canada-based NFI Group Inc. will “create a platform for international growth, accelerated technology development and innovation”. It was announced last week that Falkirk-based ADL had been acquired by North America’s largest and most diversified bus and coach manufacturer in a £320m…

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MPs demand national bus strategy

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MPs have called on the Government to prepare a national bus strategy for England outside London. The House of Commons transport committee says a strategy should set out ambitions to grow ridership and support a new multi-year funding framework for local transport. “The Government has long-term funding plans for roads and for rail investment; it…

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Bus partnerships ‘have never been more important’

Bus operators in England should develop wish lists of improvements that they desire from local authorities ahead of negotiations about new partnership agreements. That was the message from Catriona Henderson, the Department for Transport’s head of buses and taxis, in a presentation to an audience of small and medium-sized bus operators earlier this month. Henderson…

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Devolve commuter rail to metro mayors, says rail industry

The rail industry is calling for Transport for London-style rail concessions to replace franchising in the biggest urban areas of England. The proposal features in the Rail Delivery Group’s submission to the Government’s Williams Review of the future of the rail industry. “On some mass commuter routes there would be democratically accountable, TfL-style single-branded concessions,…

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Glasgow Metro is part of radical connectivity vision

A radical new transport blueprint for Glasgow includes proposals to develop a city-wide metro system, a link to the city’s termini rail stations and the development of plans for bus priority on the city’s motorway network. In recent years, transport investment in Scotland has focused on enhancing inter-urban road and rail links. However, the Glasgow…

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