Gordon: Is it not clear that the Government have lost the plot for bus users outside London? Their own latest statistics show that journeys there were down by 11 million and fares up by 3.6% last year.
Two thousand bus routes countrywide have been lost through cuts since 2010. London, with franchise powers to set routes and fares, has rising bus use.
Why are this Government blocking them for communities elsewhere in England—unless they have an elected mayor, which many do not want, forced on them? Is this not sham rather than real localism?
Andrew Jones (Bus Minister): Bus fares in Greater London have, in fact, been rising faster than those in non-metropolitan areas.
As for the issue of franchising and local mayors, it is all about local control and decision accountability.
A range of proposals will be published later in the year with the buses Bill.