May 10 2024

CPT has written to the newly-elected mayors of nine combined authorities1 across the North and the Midlands to highlight the contribution bus and coach can make to the realisation of their policy ambitions.

Commenting on the letters, Graham Vidler, CEO of CPT said,

“Millions of bus journeys in England are made in the areas overseen by these mayors, so we’ve written to say that bus operators stand ready to work in partnership with them to transform local bus and coach services using the funding they’ve been given by central government to deliver improvements.

“For better buses our message is simple: please put bus first on the road by delivering your Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) including all of the bus priority measures outlined to keep buses out of congestion and deliver the 10% improvement in bus speeds that CPT has called for in its national manifesto for bus.”

“We also want each mayor to recognise the importance of coach services to both local residents and businesses by addressing coach properly in their local transport plans; by opening up bus  lanes to coaches in all but exceptional situations; and by providing more coach parking as a key part of their efforts to make commuting and tourism more sustainable.”

Regardless of any plans they may have to reform bus regulation, CPT urges the mayors to get on with delivering their bus service improvement plans using the capital funding2 that has already been allocated to them for local transport projects by government.

“Together these provide more than enough capital funding for the mayors to deliver all of their aspirations for buses. The only thing that will slow down improvements is a lack of political will to pursue their ambitions to shift some journeys away from the car and towards more sustainable modes,” adds Vidler.

Bus and coach are a simple, affordable and popular way to meet a wide range of policy goals to curb the environmental impact of transport, boost local economies and skills, improve placemaking and build stronger communities.

A 10% increase in bus speeds could increase passenger numbers and reduce operating costs  which can be  reinvested into local services., as well as saving the average household £400 a year in transport spending3.

Coaches can unlock huge benefits to local businesses, delivering high-spend visitors in a way which minimises congestion and emissions. They also provide a good value alternative to trains, cars and air travel that reduces social exclusion and opens up opportunities for leisure and tourism across the income spectrum.


Notes for Editors

Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) is the voice of bus and coach operators across the UK with all major operators and hundreds of smaller operators in membership. Its members provide over 95% of bus services in the UK.

(1) CPT has written to the newly elected mayors for the following combined authorities: East Midlands, Greater Manchester, Liverpool, North East, South Yorkshire, Tees Valley, West Midlands, West Yorkshire, and York and North Yorkshire.  

(2) Combined authorities have been given varying amounts of funding for local transport through City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements (CRSTS) or via a Local Transport Fund (LTF) allocation.

Mayoral Combined Authority

BSIP Allocation £million

 Local Transport   Fund






East MIdlands





Greater Manchester





Liverpool City Region





North East





South Yorkshire





Tees Valley





West Midlands





West Yorkshire





York & N Yorkshire





Local Transport Fund allocations 2025-32 

Network North CRSTS2 indicative allocations 04 Oct 2023

The government has decided that the new East Midlands Mayoral Combined County Authority, once established, should be eligible for CRSTS funding and has provided an indicative allocation of £1.5 billion (in addition to its baseline annual Highways Maintenance and Integrated Transport Block funding). Final allocations will be confirmed in due course following engagement with the authority on their delivery plans. 

(3) Social Market Foundation, Getting the measure of transport poverty  

With reference to coach CPT highlights the coach strategy ( recently produced by Western Gateway STB (a sub-national transport body formed by an alliance of eight local authorities and one combined authority in south west England) as modelling an approach that other local transport authorities could draw ideas and good practice from. 

CPT’s manifesto for bus Driving Britain Forward and manifesto for coach Access All Areas were both published in January 2024. See: