Bus users in areas like Cambridge with little competition are getting a raw deal, according to a comprehensive report published today by the Competition Commission.
Twenty five years after bus services were de-regulated by the Conservatives, the Competition Commission today said that: “in many areas bus operators face little or no competition, leading to passengers facing less frequent services and, in some cases, higher fares than where there is some form of rivalry.”
Chair of Cambridge Labour Party Daniel Zeichner has long called for Cambridge buses to be re-regulated:
“Today’s very comprehensive report from the Competition Commission confirms what we all know: where companies like Stagecoach run a near monopoly service, there is no pressure on them to cut fares or improve services. After twenty five years, it is clear that this experiment in leaving things to the market has boosted the profits of bus companies, but done nothing for long-suffering bus users. It is now time to follow the example set in London, where bus travel is regulated. The results are clear – modern smart-ticketing systems, lower fares, better frequency and much higher usage. For a city like Cambridge, with acute transport challenges, improving the bus system should be a top priority.”