Calderdale to partner councils in West Yorkshire in project to improve bus services

Calderdale will partner other West Yorkshire councils in a project to improve bus services across the region.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 6:00 am

The borough’s council Cabinet agreed to approve the council’s formal participation in the West Yorkshire Bus Enhanced Partnership.

Cabinet member for Regeneration and Strategy, Coun Jane Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot) said the intention was to improve bus services, and in a very substantial way, with an end goal.

“It’s part of a journey to bring buses back into public control.

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“It is a long road ahead and this is one of the stages,” she said.

Coun Scullion said joining with the other four West Yorkshire councils – Bradford, Leeds, Kirklees and Wakefield – would create an enhanced partnership between the councils, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), which acts as the local transport authority, and bus operators.

“It is a public-private project, we need to work together to try and improve the services as they are now.

“It has to be approved by all parties to come into operation,” she said.

Cabinet also agreed to delegate the submission of appropriate capital schemes to the related Bus Service Improvement Plan and subsequently into the enhanced partnership to the council’s Director of Regeneration and Strategy, Shelagh O’Neill, in consultation with the Cabinet member for Regeneration and Strategy, which is currently Coun Scullion.

Coun Scullion said schemes referred to had approval in the council’s capital programme.

Cabinet member for Resources, Coun Silvia Dacre (Lab, Todmorden) said colleague Coun Scott Patient (Lab, Luddenden Foot, who has the portfolio for climate change), often reminded councillors how important bus transport was for people who are not particularly well off.

This was sometimes forgotten by people who do not use buses, which were the poor relation of public transport, but they were vital to enable people to get to work, get to hospital appointments and so on, she said.

Coun Patient said the partnership was a real stepping stone, taking a lead from West Yorkshire’s Mayor, Tracy Brabin, about how control of bus services could be achieved.

Coun Scullion said a council scrutiny board had recently debated a petition about rural places needing bus services they could rely on.

“It is important to remember this is really about having the kind of bus services we can be really proud of, getting people working in care jobs leaving at 8pm at night home,” she said

The partnership will be the delivery mechanism for the West Yorkshire Bus Service Improvement Plan, submitted to the Government last autumn, and which has short, medium and long-term plans to improve bus services in West Yorkshire.

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