Transport For London is the model to follow for our buses

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Re passengers shape travel, The Star, August 29, 2014.

Millions of low income bus passengers outside London who rely on services have been let down by a lack of competition and the failure of deregulation. They take more taxi journeys each year than any other income group because of the unreliability and high fares of their local buses.

It is nearly 30 years since local bus services in Britain were deregulated by the Conservatives under the Transport Act, 1985, when it was claimed that by encouraging and opening up competition services would improve and fares woud fall.

This policy did not result in a competitive market. Only 1 per cent of weekly bus services now face effective competition over all or most of their routes.

Bus fares outside London have risen by 35 per cent above inflation between 1995 and 2013.

Overall bus use outside London has fallen by by 32.5 per cent since 1986 but has risen by 99 per cent in London where powers to regulate bus services still exist.

According to The Star report The South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive is to launch a consultation inviting passengers to influence how travel services are provided.

This consultation should give passengers the opportunity to make complaints and to make proposals.

I respectfully suggest that in their submissions they consider proposing that the local authorities in South Yorkshire campaign for the creation of local transport bodies modelled on Transport For London at the level of city regions and combined authorities with remits to take on the delivery of transport policy, including the regulation and contracting of local bus markets.

William Ronksley

Pond Road, Stannington, Sheffield, S6