Our last Constituency meeting held in Skipton heard from Matthew Topham lead campaigner for We Own It about the campaign for better buses in our county. With the election for Mayor on 2 May we intend to make this an issue. The new Mayor will have responsibility for transport. We want our buses under local control like that are in Manchester and London. And last month campaigners who want to see public control of buses have handed a 12,000-signature petition to West Yorkshire’s mayor Tracy Brabin, calling for bus franchising to be introduced, which would mean fares and routes being set by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA).

We believe that York and North Yorkshire’s bus services are broken. But they could be world class. The region’s new devolution deal for our region gives the Council Leaders and Mayor the power to fix our buses by bringing them back under local control. But we won’t win this without a fight!

Right now, our network is a wild west free market with the bus companies able to do what they like. Private companies control North Yorkshire’s bus network. They dictate prices, routes, and timetables. The result has been catastrophic — passenger numbers are down, fares have gone up (the temporary £2 limit only lasts until the end of the year), and service cuts have left our communities more isolated than ever. The new Mayor of York and North Yorkshire, and our Council Leaders, have the power to regulate our buses in the public interest. Like London’s world leading network, this would see decisions about our buses made by local people, not unaccountable shareholders. Regulation would mean affordable fares, buses that prioritise punctuality over profits, and more evening, weekend, and rural services — all with a smart ticket that caps your fare.

We need the region’s leaders to hear our message loud and clear, so there is no choice on the day after the mayoral election but to bring buses back under local control.

Join us in the campaign to give the public the bus services they deserve and do your bit for the climate by encouraging people to use them!

As a start you can sign the petition at: www.megaphone.org.uk/p/BetterBusesNY

Bus campaigners
Bus campaigners
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