Monday 19 October 2015

Possible move away from bus franchising in East Yokshire?

When the East Riding of Yorkshire Council jointly submitted a devolution proposal with the City of York and North Yorkshire last month, it included bus franchising:

"Responsibility for franchised bus services in the devolved geography for integrating smart ticketing across all local modes of transport, including integrated smart ticketing extension to the Transport for the North connected cities ticketing initiative."

Today there is a new Greater Yorkshire Devolution Proposal covering East, North and West Yorkshire (including Hull). It lacks support from all the areas proposed to be included and lacks many firm proposals as a result, instead spending a lot of time highlighting where 'common ground' can be found. There is however this 'ask' on public transport:

"We need a range of models that not only leads to cheap and plentiful services within in our cities and major towns, but connects with the wider hinterland and travel to work areas. We must align objectives so that both the franchising approach in CA/ITA areas and the partnership approach more appropriate to rural networks will stimulate greater workforce mobility and reduce congestion. We need plans for Transpennine electrification to be joined to up along the whole route, in order to harness the private sector commitment from Hull Trains."

To me that indicates that franchising would probably be limited to West Yorkshire, with other areas adopting a partnership model.

It is also worth noting on a pan-Humber blog that there are 'warm words' about pan-Humber co-operation:

"Equally, the value of sustaining a coherent approach to developing the Humber Estuary across both North and South Banks is a major factor in establishing a workable devolution package. With the reduction in Humber Bridge tolls and the Hull and Humber City Deal, we are seeing the benefits of massive private sector investment to deliver our global gateway and energy estuary ambitions. Sustaining a pan-Humber partnership in conjunction with a Greater Lincolnshire Combined Authority will be built into the governance arrangements from the outset."