Last year, the Mayor of Greater Manchester made a decision to implement a bus franchising scheme across Greater Manchester, to bring buses back under public control. Today, the courts found that decision was lawfully carried out; as were all other aspects of the franchising process.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “This is truly fantastic news for everyone outside London who wishes to see a return to a bus service that puts people ahead of profit. We were always confident that GMCA had followed all correct legal processes and that the decision to franchise buses and bring them under public control was lawful and right. We’re delighted that this strong legal decision, where we won on every point, validates and endorses everything we have done to date.
"Following the strong mandate from the Greater Manchester public, who wanted buses bringing back under public control, it is frustrating that the two companies concerned pursued this action and I am pleased that the court has dismissed all of their arguments.
"I now ask them to accept the clear ruling and allow us to crack on and give the people of Greater Manchester what they want – an integrated, accessible and affordable ‘London-style’ transport system joining together buses, trams, cycling and walking; the Bee Network.
“I want to work with the operators and the government to create the bus network that GM needs over the next few years and I will give a more detailed update on how and when we will implement franchising on Monday.
“However, in order to deliver a London-style transport system, we need the right funding to do so for our buses and for our Metrolink system so that people have access to the kind of reliable, affordable services that makes public transport an attractive alternative to the car.
“Access to reliable affordable public transport is central to the government’s commitment to levelling up and to our net zero ambitions. We want Government to join us in a partnership that uses Greater Manchester as a pilot to allow it to become the first London-style public transport system outside of London, as the Government promised in its Levelling Up White Paper, providing a package of both post-Covid and longer-term funding.