QCS board to examine North East Scheme

Oral evidence sessions into the proposed Quality Contract Scheme (QCS) for the north east’s bus network are to be held by the Quality Contract Scheme (QCS) board in March and April 2015. Chair of the Quality Contract Scheme (QCS) board, Kevin Rooney, indicated that the complexity of the North East Quality Scheme, the changes to the proposals since the initial consultation and the fact it is the first scheme of its kind were exceptional circumstances. The board has instructed Nexus and three bus operators (Arriva North East, Go North East and Stagecoach) to define and refine the issues, including analysis of the underlying economic modelling, by February 2015.

The directions hearing, held in Leeds, discussed working practices for the QCS board to ensure a fair, efficient and effective process is in place. The board has also confirmed that it intends to publish a final report by 31 May 2015.

The oral evidence sessions will take place on 10-12 March, 17-19 March and 14-16 April 2015. The venue will be confirmed in due course. Two other parties, Bridget Phillipson, MP, and the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Users Group have requested the opportunity to give oral evidence. Nexus and the three bus companies will be able to cross examine the evidence presented by both parties during the hearings. The trio of operators are required to provide their written statements of evidence, supporting documents and matters of issue by 30 January 2015. Nexus is required to consider all points raised by the operators and provide their written evidence and matters of issue by 20 February 2015.

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