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In the News

The BEE Network - Manchester's Buses are Renationalised

Geoff Riley

24th September 2023

Greater Manchester has taken the bus network back into public ownership. Services on the BEE network will be franchised to private companies to run but the local authority will set the fares, timetables and routes

Go-Ahead have been awarded the franchise, which initially only starts on the periphery of the Greater Manchester area, single fares will be capped at £2 for a year, and it will be interesting to see whether the scheme justifies the significant opportunity cost involved, not least in buying back bus depots. By the start of 2025, all of Manchester’s buses will be franchised, and the city hopes to run local trains by 2030.

It will be a test case for whether public ownership is the best way of supplying public transport. Bus use in Greater Manchester has fallen from 355 million trips a year in 1986, when services were deregulated, to 182 million before COVID.

Channel 4 news video:

Can Manchester’s ‘transformational’ public transport be a template for the UK?

Geoff Riley

Geoff Riley FRSA has been teaching Economics for over thirty years. He has over twenty years experience as Head of Economics at leading schools. He writes extensively and is a contributor and presenter on CPD conferences in the UK and overseas.

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