The report by the New Local Government Network (NLGN), a non-profit making think tank, says councils should lead approaches to reduce congestion and consider locality-based charging only if merited by local circumstances.
The report argues for removing the local transport regulatory powers from England’s six unelected Traffic Commissioners, instead devolving their powers to elected local council leaders.
NLGN director Chris Leslie said: “It is nonsense in this day and age for unelected and barely visible Traffic Commissioners, who are currently appointed for life, to have powers to register and regulate local buses.
“Local communities across the country are crying out for better public transport and these Traffic Commissioners cannot possibly have the local knowledge necessary to deliver the best results.
“Elected local government and council leaders should be where the buck stops, so passengers and residents know where to direct their concerns.”