BUS services in West Yorkshire could be brought back under public control in an effort to improve reliability and put an end to “inflation-busting fares”.

Metro, the county’s passenger transport authority, said under the current system passengers had lost confidence in services.

If a new system went ahead, Metro would have the final say on fares and timetables.

Subject to approval and consultation, it could be brought in during 2013.

Metro director general Kieran Preston said: “Basically people are dissatisfied with the level of service they currently receive.”

He added: “The problem with the current bus market is that there is no real competition.

“It is dominated by a small number of large companies, so that tends to lead to inflation-busting fares and levels of service changes and reductions that people find disturbing.”

Under the changes known as the “quality contract scheme”, operators would have to bid for the right to run a service.

This would be done against a specification that drives up quality, setting standards in terms of fares, frequency of services and customer care.

Mr Preston said the scheme would be incentive-based.