6 October 2011
Responding to the publication of Provisional Decisions on Remedies for Local Bus Services by the Competition Commission, Campaign for Better Transport's bus campaigner, Sophie Allain, said:
“Many of the suggestions are very welcome, in particular measures that encourage greater cooperation and partnership between local authorities and bus companies. For example giving greater powers to local authorities and Traffic Commissioners to get operators to share information and follow codes of conduct could improve standards and help protect passengers.
"However, the reality on the ground is that bus users are facing deep bus cuts and higher fares as a result of Government funding reductions. If budget cuts pull the carpet out from underneath parts of the bus network, the improvements suggested by the commission will be academic for many passengers.
"Those councils that look at their transport spending in the round, integrate services and make contracts more cost efficient are most likely to be able to cushion passengers from the worst impacts of budget cuts. We agree with the Commission that the Department for Transport needs to spread good ideas and give more guidance on ways local authorities contact subsidised services. However, front-loaded budget reductions have already pushed many authorities to rush through badly planned cuts to bus subsidies.”
Notes to Editors
1. Read the Competition Commission's Provisional Decisions on Remedies for Local Bus Services here.
2. Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).