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Tyne and Wear bus companies resist proposal to hand control to local authorities

There are two different proposals aiming to make transport companies work better together Photo: ITV

The companies which run the network of bus services across Tyne and Wear have promised to work better together, if a proposal to hand control of the network to local authorities is dropped.

The North East Bus Operators Association released their plans for a voluntary partnership, which included the introduction of a new bus-to-bus ticket, for people who travel on more than one route, run by different companies, in one day.

"We want continual improvement."

– Kevin Carr

Kevin Carr, the Managing Director of Go North East, said: "The partnership idea is there to improve public transport. We want continual improvement.

"It includes things like cheaper fares for younger people, 16 - 18 year olds. And it also provides a saving of about a quarter of a million for the local authorities."

The plan is the group's reaction to a proposal to hand over responsibility for the Tyne and Wear network to a single body, backed by local councils.

That plan, the "Quality Contracts" scheme, would see the routes, ticket prices and franchise agreements for each service decided centrally.

Campaigners in its favour say that would lead to simpler fares and routes planned according to the needs of passengers, not profit - because the money raised on busier urban lines could be used to fund quieter rural services.

However, they admit that in some cases, it could mean fares for shorter journeys increase.

A decision will be made in December.

In some cases, the 'quality contracts' proposal could lead to higher fares for shorter journeys Credit: ITV