pteg warns against return to bus wars following OFT decision

Friday, January 8, 2010
Sign indicating buses

pteg have responded to the news that the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has referred UK local bus services, excluding London and Northern Ireland, to the Competition Commission.

Chair of pteg,Neil Scales, said:

'The OFT have provided clear evidence of examples of local monopoly operators abusing their position to the disadvantage of the taxpayer and the passenger.

However, we also share the OFT's view that the solution should not be a return to bus wars on the streets. We will be making a case to the Competition Commission that the right way forward is to go with the grain of the 2008 Local Transport Act which provided a much more effective range of tools for local transport authorities to improve bus services.

The competition authorities could assist in this by ensuring that competition regulation does not get in the way of smart and integrated ticketing schemes. There is also potential for the Competition Commission to examine how some of the barriers to entry to the market for Quality Contracts (the franchising of networks of local bus services) could be lowered.'

ENDS

For more information contact Matt Brunt on 0113 251 7204