Councillor calls for a 'Bristol Transport Company'
A NEW transport company for Bristol – like Transport for London – could transform bus and rail services, says city councillor Tim Kent.
The Liberal Democrat executive member for transport will seize the opportunity in a debate this month to spell out the benefits and challenge critics to say why they oppose it.
Mr Kent, right, who last month warned First Bus he would consider effectively taking over bus services if they did not improve, has put down a motion for the next full council meeting on June 19.
It calls on the council's ruling administration to set up a Bristol Transport Company, which already has the public backing of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, to introduce integrated bus tickets and, if necessary, impose quality contracts on bus operators to guarantee better services to the public.
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The motion states: "The Department for Transport wants Bristol City Council and its neighbours to strengthen their working relationship to unlock additional devolution of transport powers.
"There is no consensus among our neighbouring authorities for our preferred option of an integrated transport authority."
It goes on to call for:
â More devolution of transport powers, particularly over rail and bus services.
â Substantial investment to meet demand for an "integrated, modern and affordable public transport network".
â A paper on "quality contracts" to be prepared for discussion by the council in September.
â Integrated bus tickets to be introduced by operators to give passengers "greater flexibility" in the services they use.
â A Transport Company for Bristol and the wider region to be set up to allow additional powers and funding to be devolved from central to local government to improve public transport.
If a majority of members agree after a debate, the motion can be passed.