SIR - I was interested to read the article by Ray Wilkes (Telegraph & Argus, December 5) about bus franchising in West Yorkshire. Several elements seemed lacking in the piece. Bus franchising is not our ideal answer to the needs of travelling citizens in West Yorkshire, but it is clearly a much better option than the current shareholder profit-making owned bus companies free to do almost as they please.

The argument in the article makes several wrong assumptions.Most significant is that shareholder companies are providing bus services not to make a profit. The other clear argument is that the citizens of West Yorkshire are incompetent to professionally operate an integrated public passenger transport scheme.

In 1974 the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive was created combining municipal fleets, National Bus company fleets and regional railways to develop integrated locally-owned and operated transport systems, run by transport professionals for the benefit of citizens. Two Prime Ministers, Margaret Thatcher and John Major, dismantled that infrastructure to create our current mish-mash of chaos.

The book produced in 1984 celebrating ten years of the PTE reminds us of the viable, citizen-owned, West Yorkshire system we then had with interchanges and common ticketing. Thanks to national political interference it has been down-hill every since. Now, there is a limited chance to redeem at least part of our loss like London and Greater Manchester with bus franchising.

Dr Keith G Jones, Tulyar Court, Gilstead