At the start of this month residents in Watford got to decide who should represent them on Watford Council. I am so grateful to every person who put their trust in the Liberal Democrat team, in what was our best ever local elections in Watford. We gained three seats from Labour and the Conservatives, once again, came a very distant third.

During the campaign I chatted with hundreds of residents. So many of them told me about really difficult situations they face. I spoke with people who were worried about high rents and the cost-of-living crisis, others who were struggling to get access to mental health services and lots of residents who were fed up with inadequate local bus services.

It isn’t unreasonable for passengers to expect buses that arrive on time and aren’t overcrowded. We don’t have to look too far to see places that get a much better service.

In London, Transport for London control the cost of travel and the standard of service. This means a far better bus service and other parts of the country, such as Manchester, are now opting for this franchised approach too. I want this to happen in Hertfordshire.

It was deeply disappointing that Conservative-led Hertfordshire County Council recently rejected this idea. The current system relies on private businesses deciding what is best for us and has resulted in services being axed, and those that remain being unreliable and too expensive.

If we want cleaner air and less congested roads, good public transport is essential. To achieve this, changes to our bus services can’t come soon enough.

  • Peter Taylor is the elected mayor of Watford