Bus Users challenges longer registration times
Bus Users has challenged the call for longer registration times by the Competition Commission. Responding to the DfT’s consultation on the implementation of the Commission’s bus registration remedies, Chief Executive of Bus Users, Claire Walters, believes the move could be counter productive for passengers. She said, ‘Imposing a three month delay or longer for new services to be introduced or for changes to be made to improve existing services, hinders operators from being responsive to the needs of passengers. We understand that local authorities need time to organise replacement services where services are being withdrawn. There also clearly needs to be an adequate notice period for anyone affected by changes to a service. However, making passengers wait unnecessarily for improvements while putting up with unreliable or poor services isn’t in anyone’s best interests. We’d like to see more discretion given to traffic commissioners to enable services that benefit passengers to be introduced in a shorter timescale.’
Bus Users has also raised concerns over the proposal to introduce banding for frequent services. Claire said, ‘Frequent service registrations give a good opportunity for the busiest bus services to be tailored according to demand, thereby maximising the use of resources. Having to run roughly the same number of buses at the same times each day is likely to lead to resources being wasted when things are quiet. This could have an impact on fares and is also likely to lead to overcrowding at particularly busy times.’
Visit www.gov.uk/government/consultations/bus-registration-competition-commission-recommendations to find out more about the consultation.