Siôn Simon, the Labour candidate for West Midlands Mayor, will today (Friday) announce a key manifesto pledge: to cap bus fares at £4.40 for an all day ticket and freeze this price cap for at least a year. The fare rate will enable passengers to travel on buses and trams within the West Midlands.
Announcing his plan in West Bromwich, he will say that by taking back control from London, we can do something about the comparatively poor public transport provision in the West Midlands.
Siôn Simon said:
Taking back control from London means we can cap and freeze bus and tram fares at £4.40 per day across the West Midlands
The buses that we use are run by companies. The unwritten deal – struck by government three decades ago – was that the companies are given almost complete freedom to operate on our roads, roads that we pay for, in return for good quality services at reasonable prices.
But that deal between the companies and the public has been broken, as the attentions of politicians in London drift to the issues of their day, not ours, bus companies have been left to their own devices.
Our buses – unclean, sometimes leaving people feeling unsafe, and always costing more – tell the story of the so-called ‘small things’ that are actually really big things.
We have over 20 different public transport tariffs, with people often paying more than they should – no wonder people feel like they’re being ripped off.
Taking back control of the West Midlands from London means we’ll be in charge. I have seen bus prices going up and up, year after year. Costs have risen, incomes have been squeezed. So let’s do something about it – now that we’ll finally have a Mayor to lead the charge. It’s about time.