Updated: Tuesday, 2nd June 2020 @ 1:57pm

Buy the ticket, THEN take the ride: Pre-booked buses will save money and time, says Manchester councillor

Buy the ticket, THEN take the ride: Pre-booked buses will save money and time, says Manchester councillor

| By Josh Nicholls – MM exclusive

Automatic ticketing on buses could keep public transport in Manchester cost effective despite budget cut of £7.1million over the two next years, a Councillor has claimed.

Executive member of Manchester City Council, Kate Chappell, is currently compiling a report on the cost of transport in the city as well as its impact on people’s lives, and has made several solutions to streamline operations.

Amid austerity measures facing Manchester’s public transport services, Councillor Chappell believes introducing a scheme similar to London’s oyster card system would save valuable funds.

“To keep transport prices low, introducing automatic ticketing would help,” Councillor Chappell told MM.

“This would mean all tickets would be purchased beforehand and no tickets are purchased on the bus. This would save money and make journey times much, much quicker.

“Pouring more and more money into services is not always the best action to take and doing things like introducing automatic ticketing would make such a difference.

“It would make things quicker and support us in making sure prices stay competitive.”

Councillor Chappell, who is also heading the council’s environmental department, has urged more people to use public transport, cycling and car sharing.

That said, she understood the need for the public to use cars when venturing into the city.

“We are definitely not anti-car even with all the environmental issues we are taking into account,” she told MM.

“If you are a family going into town for the day or for a meal you are going to want to use your car.”

However Councillor Chappell defended the city centre’s parking prices – often a source of annoyance to many commuters and visitors.

“It is priced at a rate that lets people park in the city centre for short periods but not all day,” she said.

“We have got the right pricing to encourage footfall and turnover for local retailers.”

High long-stay parking prices are designed to discourage day-trippers from parking in the city centre and instead park further out of town.

This will afford more space to short-stay customers, which will in turn boost the local economy according to Councillor Chappell.

“As soon as you go out of the very centre of town actually the prices actually are quite a lot cheaper,” she added.

“We do want to leave spaces for those coming into the city for two or three hours, which will help local retailers.”

Image courtesy of Bus Spirit of Manchester, with thanks.