Anneliese Dodds is backing plans to improve bus services in Oxfordshire
Anneliese Dodds is backing plans to improve bus services in Oxfordshire

MP for Oxford East, Anneliese Dodds, has today pledged to back transformative plans to deliver better bus services across Oxfordshire.

The plan also aims to see better buses delivered faster, with the franchising process done in as little as 2 years, compared to the 6-year slog endured by Greater Manchester due to the unnecessary barriers imposed by central government. Since buses were deregulated in 1985, bus services in England’s regions outside London have collapsed, with:

  • Over 3 million fewer miles driven by buses per year in Oxfordshire alone since 2010 [1]
  • 5 billion fewer annual bus journeys across England in 2019 than in 1985[2]
  • Thousands of bus services cut since 2010[3]

Labour has announced it will pass new legislation to support local transport authorities to take back control of their bus services and has set out a five-point plan to deliver better buses.

Where bus franchising is in place, in London and Manchester, buses have thrived.

In September 2023, the County Council voted to support a Labour and Co-operative Group motion in favour of setting up bus franchising. A detailed feasibility study for 2024/25 was also funded by the Council after they voted to accept the Labour & Co-operative Group budget amendment in February. Labour’s plan would give the Council the powers to implement franchising without special powers and at a faster speed.

Anneliese Dodds MP said:

“After fourteen years of Conservative failure our local bus services have been driven into the ground.

“Labour will call time on the broken bus system that is holding far too many people in our community back from opportunities.

“I am proud that Labour is taking action locally in Oxfordshire to take back control of our buses. We need a Labour Government backing local authorities to improve services in their areas.

“Labour’s plan for better buses will give every community the power to take back control of their bus services, and will support local leaders to deliver better buses, faster.

“Our plan means vital bus services being created and saved across our region.”


Notes on Labour’s Plan

Labour will:

  1. Empower local transport authorities and reform funding: by giving local leaders more control and flexibility over bus funding and allowing them to plan ahead to deliver their local transport priorities.
  2. Allow every community to take back control of their buses: by removing barriers that currently limit bus franchising powers only to metropolitan mayors.
  3. Accelerate the bus franchising process: by supporting local leaders to deliver better buses, faster
  4. Step in to safeguard local bus networks: by providing more accountability over bus operators and ensuring standards are raised wherever you live across the country.
  5. Support public ownership: by removing the Conservatives’ ideological ban on publicly owned bus companies and building on the success of award-winning public bus services still in operation.

[1] Department for Transport, ‘Vehicle miles on local bus services’, Tab BUS02b_mi (2023):

[2] 2005-2023 statistics,, ‘Passenger journeys on local bus services’, comparison made with 2019 to reflect the norm pre-pandemic – Tab BUS01a (2023):

1985-2005 statistics –, ‘Passenger journeys on local bus services’, Tab Bus01a_hist (accessed 2024):

[3] Guardian (August 2023): England has lost at least 1,500 bus routes since 2021, figures show | Transport policy | The Guardian

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