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Plans to bring Manchester's buses back under public control welcomed

PLANS to bring Greater Manchester’s bus network back under public control for the first time in decades were widely welcomed today.

Labour Mayor Andy Burnham announced that proposals for local authorities, rather by than private operators, to regulate fares, timetables and routes have been approved.

Nine out of 10 of the region’s councils backed the changes, which are to be introduced by 2023.

They will make Greater Manchester the first region outside London to have a regulated bus system since the 1980s.

Pascale Robinson of anti-privatisation group We Own It, which ran the Better Buses for Greater Manchester campaign, said that the move was “absolutely game-changing” for the region. 

She said: “Bringing our buses into public control will transform our bus network so that it can work for passengers, rather than for private profit.”

Labour’s shadow buses minister Sam Tarry said: “The decision to take local public control of Greater Manchester’s buses will benefit all users, after Conservative governments have spent the last 10 years presiding over a toxic mix of cuts to services and ever-rising fares.”

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes hailed it as a “major step forward.”

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