Operators concerned over West Yorkshire bus franchise proposals (BBC)

A shake-up of the way bus services are run in West Yorkshire could see small bus companies forced out of business, it is claimed.

It comes after a public consultation was launched over plans to introduce London-style franchising for services.

This would mean private firms would be awarded contracts to deliver services set by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA).

One small operator said it had the potential “to put us out of business”.

Since 1986, bus services in England – but not London – have been deregulated, meaning they are mainly run by private bus companies that have control over their routes, timetables, ticket options, fares and bus frequency.

In most cases, the private operators also receive the revenue from fares, retain the profits and can choose to reinvest money in running buses as they see fit.

But, if approved, the plan for franchising would see the WYCA handing our contracts to specific firms.