Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Bus firms calmed over 'anti competitive' ticketing


THE GOVERNMENT this week rushed to reassure bus companies after the Office of Fair Trading announced that it had ruled new quality partnerships and interticketing arrangements 'anti competitive'.

Bus firms were told that measures were being considered to protect their income should the OFT ruling be upheld as part of the new Competition Bill which comes into effect on 1 March.

Operators negotiating bus priority routes with local authorities in return for higher quality buses - vital to the success of the Government's integrated transport policies - have been threatened with fines of up to 10% of their turnover for 'setting prices and minimum standards'. OFT maintains these run contrary to the Competition Bill.

But a letter from the Government to the Confederation of Passenger Transport states that bus industry concerns have been noted, and vows to take action.

Government sources would not be drawn on whether the Transport Bill - which includes provision for quality partnerships and interticketing - would be amended to include an exemption from the Competition Act for bus operators, or whether it would negotiate an exemption from the Competition Act.

The Office of Fair Trading confirmed that it was in talks with the bus industry about a possible exemption and said would be issuing special guidelines for bus operators shortly.

Damian Arnold

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.