Bus services in Liverpool could be franchised

Bus services across Liverpool could be franchised as part of a London-style public transport system.

Passengers have been asked their opinions on public transport.

The recommendation is based on two-years of intensive work, including a year-long debate in which local people shared their current experiences of bus travel and what they'd like to see in the future.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, said:"Our communities rely on buses to connect them to work, education and training, family, hospitals and other public services, but too often the current, de-regulated system is letting people down".

In a statement, Stagecoach said: "Franchising does not guarantee better bus services or more use of public transport.

"In contrast to our region, the number of bus journeys in London has been falling since 2013-14 and is down 200 million in five years. Transport for London, which runs the bus network, is facing a £700m deficit and many bus services are now having to be cut.

"Under franchising, local taxpayers in our region would become responsible for the full cost of the bus network, which is currently 90% funded by bus operators, and it would inevitably lead to higher council tax bills."