Go-Ahead Group has released a statement that says it supports the emphasis in the recently announced Bus Services Bill on the partnership model. Working in partnership at a local level can bring about better outcomes for both bus passengers and taxpayers, it claimed. Its devolved structure facilitates local management accountability, it believes, as well as allowing it to tailor its regional bus services to the needs of the customers and work with local transport authorities to deliver their objectives. The company said the Bill’s new Enhanced Partnerships offer the potential to consolidate the benefits already achieved through what it describes as the strong alliances Go-Ahead companies have forged with local authorities.
Go-Ahead notes the process by which new franchising powers to be granted to combined authorities can be exercised and remain to be convinced that their application will deliver better services for customers than the existing system of competition between operators and partnership working with local transport authorities. Measures brought forward in the Bus Services Bill must ensure that the franchise decision-making process is transparent and that any franchise proposals will deliver on customer service, value for money and affordability criteria.
Go-Ahead will follow the progress of the Bill through Parliament and continue to help inform the debate. It remains committed to working with local transport authorities to ensure the best possible deal is achieved for bus passengers.