LESS than a fortnight remains for people to have their say on how buses in the region are run.

A consultation, launched in October, ends on Sunday, January 7.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority is canvassing the views of members of the public, bus operators and organisations representing passengers.

In addition to online and postal facilities for people to give their views, a series of in-person events has been held across Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield districts, as well as web-based meetings.

Currently, buses in West Yorkshire are run mainly by private operators.

But the combined authority says an assessment to examine options for bus reform concluded that bringing buses under its control, through a franchising model, would offer "clear strategic benefits".

And as part of the assessment, a new, closer partnership with bus operators – known as ‘enhanced partnership plus’ – was also looked at.

A combined authority spokesperson says: "The assessment, which was reviewed by an independent auditor, considered the options for bus reform and concluded that franchising would offer clear strategic benefits.

"Currently bus routes, timetables and fares are mainly set by private operators, which has led to inconsistent standards.

"Franchising would give the combined authority control over the routes, frequency, fares and overall standards of the region’s buses – and the authority would contract bus operators to run these on its behalf."

Feedback from the consultation will be analysed, results published and a final decision made by the mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, in the spring.

Simon Warburton, executive director of transport at West Yorkshire Combined Authority, says: "We handle significant numbers of comments and complaints about bus services every year, and 2023 has been no different.

"So I'm keen to take this last opportunity to encourage everyone to participate in our consultation – people's views will help shape how our bus services look in the future.

"We are currently at a crossroads on our journey towards better buses.

"We're keen to tell everyone about our plans, and this consultation is the final stage before a decision is made on how to create a better-connected region.

"No decision is made yet, and that’s why we want as many people as possible to have their say.

"The number of responses we’ve had so far has been brilliant, demonstrating how important good bus services are for us all."

People can read the consultation document and give their comments at yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/busreform