Monday, 30 December 2013

Fiasco on the Fylde / Arriva ersetzt / Island investment

The saga of Classic Bus North West continues, reports the Lancashire Evening Post. Meanwhile, those who relied on route 80 still have no public transport provision. One wonders whether Cumfybus, who operated the route under contract to Lancashire County Council before CBNW took it on a commercial basis, will be invited back and be entitled to any compensation. Will this lead to any kind of due diligence needing to be carried out before bus companies are allowed to displace reputable operators?

Arriva is no more in West Wales. The Carmarthen Journal reports how the replacement contracts have now come into effect, leaving most of the German government's former routes still covered.

Investment has been announced this week by both Transport Scotland and Go Ahead's Southern Vectis. The Isle of Wight County Press regurgitates a press release to say that ten brand new buses will be unveiled on the island this Friday. BBC Scotland gives a run through of the schemes that will be funded by Transport Scotland's latest round of grants.

1 comment:

  1. It would be interesting if someone in the know could explain how Lancs CC approach such situations.

    When I worked at a shire county after de -reg the attitude was that we were not legally permitted to financially support a service that competed with a commercial operation. I think this still holds true.

    If an operator registered a commercial service that effectively covered the supported service the contract would be cancelled. As this then became a tool that some operators used to 'spike' others it was made clear that such decisions must be made at the time of tender or they must run it commercially for some months before the awards.

    These days local authorities tend to undertake more detailed checks on operators 'business capabilities' finance etc but that will only give a certain level of information.

    The problems seem to come when businesses overstretch taking on work at the margin (or below) and hoping for a good day tomorrow! They think if they have money in the Bank that they can spend it without understanding cash flow or the bills that will arrive next month. How many have we seen go bust like that. All too often they also do not understand what can go wrong if you are running buses and the resources you need. Even now I meet and hear of those wanting to come into the industry (or have) that DO NOT UNDERSTAND these issues.

    Politicians also fail to understand the legalities and costs of running buses and just take a Tesco mentality that of course it can be done cheaper. The fact that the industry has already taken a bashing with reductions in fuel tax repayment, reimbursement for bus passes, scholars payments and static (or reducing) contract rates is simply not understood.

    It only then needs a operator to approach a councillor and say that they could do that route cheaper (or for nothing) and someone will be accused of wasting public money. Been there before as well!!

    So that in a roundabout way is how these things often happen.


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