Dispute escalates between Anslow and Stagecoach
Stagecoach Red & White and Phil Anslow & Sons Coaches (Anslow) are set to meet in court on 2 July, in a dispute over bus stand allocation in Cwmbran.
It comes after Anslow claimed that Stagecoach is acting anti-competitively, by “stitching-up access” to stands. Stagecoach has accused Anslow of “trespassing” on bus stands it had leased. At a pre-trial hearing, Mr Justice Birss ordered that the budget for the trial be set at £800,000, after claims from Stagecoach and Prudential representatives that the cost was estimated at £1.5m
At present, Cwmbran shopping centre and bus station are owned by Prudential. Stagecoach has leased seven of the eight stands, leaving one stand for other local operators, who are usually Anslow or Newport Transport. Last year, Anslow tried to load a competitive service to Newport on the same stand that Stagecoach uses six times per hour for its X24 service. Stagecoach then sued Anslow for using its stands without permission. Anslow responded with a competition lawsuit alleging that the allocation is based on an “illegal and anticompetitive agreement that preserves Stagecoach’s dominance.”
Stagecoach says it does not control how the stands are allocated, and that it had gone through the “proper process” to apply for stand space “just like any other operator.”