MPs calls for 
fare deal on 
the buses

The Government and the bus industry need to show more leadership to raise the standard of bus services, MPs have said.

Outside London, many services were good but some were “not as good as they could or should be,” a report from the House of Commons transport committee says.

Bus passengers were treated less favourably than rail passengers despite the fact that more than three times as many people travel by bus than go by rail.

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The MPs, whose inquiry covered local bus services outside London, said they were not convinced “that the Competition Commission’s vision of widespread and sustained head-to-head competition is realistic or desirable”.

The report adds: “Previous ‘bus wars’ led to instability and confusion that was in the interests of neither operators nor passengers. We recommend that the Government promotes policies that allow sensible co-operation among operators and with local authorities where this is in the interests of bus passengers and local taxpayers.”

The committee said the bus industry was dominated by just five companies and called on them to show greater leadership and address the long-term interests of bus passengers.