I AM aware of little interest in the upcoming mayoral election in York and North Yorkshire, as distinct from the parliamentary election due to be held by next January at the latest. It is, however, an important election which will affect all of us who live in this part of Yorkshire, as well as visitors to this beautiful county.

Though at first sceptical about the need for 'metro mayors', I was won over by Andy Burnham's determination to bring Manchester's buses under public control after more than three decades since deregulation.

During that time, bus journeys dropped by nearly a half, while West Yorkshire also suffered decline in bus use and distances covered. It is interesting that Tracy Brabin also plans to take back control of buses and that two of the companies now operating are prepared to work with her in order to bring this about. The first of the franchised West Yorkshire buses are expected to be on the road by 2027.

There is clearly widespread support for an improved public transport system and it is rightly an issue that is prominent in campaigns for the York and North Yorkshire mayoralty.

The Labour Co-op candidate promises a scheme similar to the Manchester one, while the Conservative candidate promises bus franchising (though, bewilderingly, he will be travelling by motor camper across the county during his campaign).

The Better Buses campaigning organisation will be pleased that the issue of bus travel is being taken seriously by candidates. It matters to have proper planning and regulation regarding routes, fares, frequency of service and standards and profits should be ploughed back into improving the service.

The bright yellow Bee Network buses in Manchester are a joy to see. I look forward to brighter days in our part of Yorkshire with bus travel that serves residents, workers and visitors and, when the system is appraised in years to come, it is hailed as a success.

Celia Midgley