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Greater Manchester buses to be brought under public control

A REFORM to bus services across northern England can go ahead after a legal challenge against it was rejected, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham revealed today.

The Court of Appeal backed Mr Burnham’s plans from March 2021 to bring bus services in the region under public control.

Bus companies Stagecoach Manchester and Rotala had challenged the Labour mayor’s decision, bringing a legal case against Mr Burnham and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

A High Court judged ruled against the companies in March and the Court of Appeal rejected a challenge by Rotala today.

Mr Burnham said that the ruling was “brilliant news” for the people of Greater Manchester and for “anyone across the UK who cares about having a bus service that puts people ahead of shareholder profit.”

Public ownership group We Own It said that it was a “massive victory” that “could be life-changing for many communities across the country.”

We Own It better buses campaigner Matthew Topham said: “For the first time in over 30 years, a bus network outside London will be integrated and planned for the benefit of local people, not distant shareholders.

“That means simple tickets you can trust to give you value for money.

“It means more routes to help end social isolation and boost local businesses.

“And it means powers to make buses more reliable, helping to end those frightening night-time waits at dark bus stops.

“With Manchester setting the pace, now is the time for the leaders of other regions to put their foot on the accelerator and drive forward better buses too.”

Bus services outside London are deregulated, provided by commercial operators who decide their own routes and timetables, and retain control over their revenue and profits.

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