Steve Rotheram Launches The Big Bus Debate

Steve Rotheram Launches The Big Bus Debate
A Better By Bus branded VDL SB200 with Wrightbus Commander bodywork in Liverpool.Daniel Christopher

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, will today launch a public debate to find out what people in the city region think about the bus system. The government is in the process of devolving new powers over how our buses operate.

This public conversation will help inform how those powers are used to drive through major improvements to the network and give greater control back to the public sector and passengers.

Speaking about the announcement, Steve Rotheram said: “Buses are the backbone of our transport system, with more than 400,000 journeys in our city region every day.

“Action to drive up quality has already been taken by Merseytravel and the Combined Authority with our major bus operators.

“And while I can confidently say that we have one of the best bus networks outside London, I’m not willing to accept being second best.

“Despite the improvements we have driven through locally, there are clearly ways in which we can continue to improve, including smarter, simpler and more affordable ticketing and quicker and more reliable services.

“I am launching the big bus debate so that people can tell us what they want to see and together we can build we can build the modern, affordable and reliable public transport system that our city region deserves.

“There are a number of different options for change and I will examine each of these carefully, in the light of what people tell us through this debate, to determine which one will deliver the greatest improvement for fare-paying passengers.”

    The types of improvements identified could include:

  • Smarter, simpler, more affordable, and easier to use ticketing.
  • Quicker and more reliable bus journeys, which spend less time stuck in traffic.
  • Greener buses that help improve air quality.
  • Improving buses so that more car users choose to make the switch.
  • Making it easier to switch between different modes of transport, whether cars, buses, trains, walking or cycling, and to find out information about the options in real time.

The first phase of the conversation will be an online survey aimed at finding out what perceptions both bus users and non-users have about the bus system and what changes they would like to see. The survey is available at

In the New Year, the next phase of the debate will see face-to-face on-street interviews, conducted across all six of the Combined Authority’s constituent local authorities, to be followed up by qualitative research in the form of focus groups.

All of this research will inform potential changes to be made to the bus system, which will be submitted to the government in early 2020.

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Tom Harrison

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  • Paul Mason
    30th October 2018, 7:12 pm

    I’ve filled the survey in but it doesn’t answer the issue of no buses in the evening s and weekends and restoring links cut by Cllr Liam "Beeching" Robinson.

    Much is made of buses having USB but many parts of Merseyside need a BUS.