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Voters in a Guardian Leeds poll have come out
overwhelmingly in favour of Metro's plans to introduce Quality Bus
Over 95% of voters who responded to the Guardian's question
"Should Metro regulate Leeds' buses?" agreed that Metro should be
allowed to set the specification for Leeds's buses, and just over
90% said that bus services in Leeds were poor or in need of
Introducing Quality Contracts would enable Metro to specify
local bus routes, frequencies and fares across West Yorkshire. It
would also mean a single ticketing system, removing the current
confusion over different operators' tickets, and fewer service
"The outcome of this poll shows that passengers are growing more
and more frustrated at bus operators making service cuts and price
hikes while at the same time maintaining very high profit levels, "
said Metro Chairman Cllr Chris Greaves.
"Under a Quality Contract Scheme, bus operators would bid to run
services, and would be contracted to provide consistent high
standards across the county or face penalties if they failed to do
so. We would look to incentivise good service delivery and high
standards of customer care. They could still make a profit, but
closer to the industry norm of 10% rather than the 20% profits
we've seen some companies make locally.
"For the last 25 years, rises in bus fares have been invested in
shareholders dividends rather than being ploughed back into local
services," continued Cllr Greaves. "We want to see an end to that,
and it's pleasing to see that the people of Leeds feel the same
Metro will shortly be undertaking an initial consultation on
proposals for a Quality Bus Contract Scheme and aims to undertake a
full public consultation in 2011. The scheme could be introduced
from late 2012, with a phased approach across West Yorkshire until
completion by 2017.
The full poll results can be found at http://www.guardian.co.uk/leeds/poll/2010/sep/30/poll-should-metro-regulate-leeds-buses.