The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is inviting input from Liverpool residents—whether they ride buses or not!—on its plans to franchise routes, as currently happens in London, and will soon start in Manchester.

The Combined Authority believes a franchise system is the most effective way to bring about the public transport reform Liverpool residents want, creating an integrated, London-style transport system. They have published a detailed consultation document explaining their research and recommendations, as well as an online version of the questionnaire for residents to fill in.

What is bus franchising?

Bus Franchising is where a transport authority specifies what bus services are provided, determining the routes, timetables and fares. Bus services are then operated under contract by private companies that bid to run the services through a competitive tendering process. This is the model currently in operation in London, and set to be introduced in Greater Manchester from September 2023. In the rest of Great Britain, bus services are deregulated, meaning that bus operators are largely free to choose what services they want to run, the vehicles they use and the fares they charge.

How can I have my say?

We’d encourage you to read the consultation document (it’s a long document, but Section 2, in particular, explains the proposed franchises/routes, and is only a few pages long) and then complete the questionnaire (which will only take a few minutes).

The consultation is open until 3rd August 2023. You can find out more on the LCRCA’s “Moving Buses Forward” homepage.