He has been touted as a future leader of the Labour party, and this week, Andy Burnham has shown that he can certainly get things done. The Greater Manchester Mayor hailed the launch of a new bus service in his city, which puts control back into the hands of the public.
Manchester’s new bus network: What to expect?
The Bee Network features a range of new electric buses, on routes that best serve the people of Manchester and its surrounding areas. Burnham insists that the transport scheme will allow customers to hold operators to account through an ongoing process.
Ratings for services will be delivered via an app, and people can give their feedback on what does – and doesn’t – work well in their area. What is more, the cost of bus travel is set to drop by 20% on all routes, for all fares.
The integrated system is designed to emulate public transport in London, and marks the biggest shake-up for local operators in decades. The yellow revolution has been lauded by many – and the timing could not be more apt than it is right now.
HS2 on pause, as Andy Burnham launches Bee Network for Manchester
It’s understood that Rishi Sunak and his colleagues are considering pausing the construction of HS2, with a view to completely removing’ northern legs of the network – one of which is Manchester. However, the PM will likely face opposition from some Cabinet members.
Watching the chaos unfold, Andy Burnham has scoffed at government promises to ‘level up’ the north, stating instead that Manchester has worked hard to do it for themselves. The Mayor has called upon more cities to ‘demand better’ from their public services.
“The North working has been working hard to level ourselves up. The Government has been working hard to level us down. Deregulation of buses has been a disaster for the big English cities outside of London. We should all join forces to demand better.” | Andy Burnham