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Regulation of Bus Services (Leeds)

Volume 527: debated on Tuesday 26 April 2011

The Petition of residents of Leeds and supporters of the Fairer Fares Campaign,

Declares that the Petitioners believe that there is a need for Leeds to have a regulated bus service that provides a regular service for the community, with an honest fare that is not just for profit; and notes that such a bus service must provide an improved customer service that helps the people of Leeds in their day to day lives.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to take steps to regulate the bus service in Leeds and to ensure that the service is honest and reliable.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Greg Mulholland, Official Report, Tuesday 8 March 2011; Vol. 524, c. 878.]


Observations from the Secretary of State for Transport, received 11 April 2011:

The Government do not determine the fare prices of local bus services, 78% of which are provided by commercial bus operators in a market environment. Where there are no commercial services, services are procured by Local Transport Authorities as “supported services”.

Local Transport Authorities can impose a limit on fares upon an area as part of a statutory Quality Partnership Scheme or introduce a Quality Contract Scheme. Under such a Quality Contract Scheme, a local authority or authorities can determine what local bus services and facilities are provided in a described area and what fares are charged, subject to a statutory public interest test.

Metro, the West Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority (ITA) and West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (PTE), plans to introduce a Quality Contract Scheme or Partnership that would make Metro responsible for setting routes, fares, timetables and quality standards across the whole of West Yorkshire.

The Government are waiting for the outcome of the current Competition Commission inquiry into the local bus market before making any decision about whether to change the framework for bus services in England outside London. In the meantime, the Government encourage Local Transport Authorities and commercial bus operators to work together to ensure that bus services meet the expectations of the travelling public.