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OFT study shows transport authorities need to use new Local Transport Act powers

20 August 2009
Responding to today's study of competition in the local bus market [1], Cat Hobbs, Campaign for Better Transport’s public transport campaigner, said:

"The OFT is right that bus company monopolies are bad for passengers, but wrong to assume that the answer is more on-road competition. The goal should be better bus services, not competition for its own sake. We know that the free market often just doesn’t work for buses. On-road competition can mean bus wars, but no competition can mean high fares and low quality services. Both of these are bad for passengers. The answer is for transport authorities to take a more active role in providing good bus services, through quality contracts, quality partnerships or encouraging new companies to enter the market by commissioning services. The Government must support transport authorities in using Local Transport Act powers to improve services.”

Notes to editors
[1] The OFT has published its market study into the supply of local bus services http://www.oft.gov.uk/news/press/2009/104-09