Greater Manchester Combined Authority is planning to proceed with its long-running plans for a proposed bus franchising scheme by undertaking a public consultation which runs to 29 January 2021.
The move has motivated Stagecoach to rekindle its Recovery Partnerships concept.
Martin Griffiths, Stagecoach chief executive, says: “The pandemic has had a significant impact on all public transport networks across the country, regardless of how these systems are structured. The key lesson has been the positive impact from government, local authorities and public transport operators working in partnership to deliver the vital services that customers and communities need in very challenging circumstances.
“We believe there is a major opportunity to build on this strong collaboration to put in place new Recovery Partnerships to rebuild bus networks and attract passengers back.
“We will continue to work constructively with stakeholders in Greater Manchester and elsewhere to deliver the best and most sustainable bus networks for communities for the long-term.”
Recovery Partnerships would involve an agreement between bus operators and local transport authorities to work together to deliver a new post Covid-19 bus network, including short and long-term measures to deliver a sustainable system to meet passenger priorities.
The operators acknowledge that the partnerships would just act as a bridge from the current interim arrangements to a longer-term commercially sustainable system.