Councils to be banned from operating Bus Co's

Status
Not open for further replies.

LateThanNever

Member
Joined
18 Jul 2013
Messages
1,011
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
65,573
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
How utterly ludicrous.

Meanwhile if you want Edinburghers to vote for Scottish independence, you merely have to threaten to lay a finger on Lothian...
 
Last edited:

SCH117X

Member
Joined
27 Nov 2015
Messages
1,079
Quite simple Councils are seen as being a terrible intolerable institutions which prevent the private sector of making nice profits (and paying staff less as a result) by this government which is trying cut them down in size / privatise services; such as the failed proposal to make all schools privately run academies. One thing forthcoming is a trial that will take place in some parts of the country of the privatisation of the handling of planning applications (i.e. big house builder applies to private firm that will support its applications). So the thought of Councils expanding their role in setting up a bus company is completely alien to this Governments mentality.
 

edwin_m

Veteran Member
Joined
21 Apr 2013
Messages
20,937
Location
Nottingham
Does this affect (partially) owned but "arms length" commercial operators such as in Nottingham and Blackpool?
 

CatfordCat

Member
Joined
23 Jan 2013
Messages
639
I'm fairly sure it has been law since the 1985 Act that a council that (at that point) had a municipal bus operation, and subsequently sold it, is not allowed to set up a new municipal operation.
 

Busaholic

Established Member
Joined
7 Jun 2014
Messages
10,051
Could this be happening because TfL are considering once again operating buses themselves, like used to happen with their East Thames Buses?
 

edwin_m

Veteran Member
Joined
21 Apr 2013
Messages
20,937
Location
Nottingham
Looking at large organisations such as TfGM, are there not soon powers to come into force which will then allow to franchise bus operations within their administered areas.

Franchising is different from direct operation. In particular it allows any suitable company the opportunity to bid for the franchise.
 

Jordeh

Member
Joined
18 Aug 2010
Messages
372
Location
London
Quite simple Councils are seen as being a terrible intolerable institutions which prevent the private sector of making nice profits (and paying staff less as a result) by this government which is trying cut them down in size / privatise services; such as the failed proposal to make all schools privately run academies. One thing forthcoming is a trial that will take place in some parts of the country of the privatisation of the handling of planning applications (i.e. big house builder applies to private firm that will support its applications). So the thought of Councils expanding their role in setting up a bus company is completely alien to this Governments mentality.
In many respects the Bus Services bill gives back control of buses to councils, allowing for TfL style bus franchising which isn't good news for the private sector. Great for passengers though which is the most important thing.
 

TheGrandWazoo

Veteran Member
Joined
18 Feb 2013
Messages
16,600
Location
Somerset with international travel (e.g. across th
Franchising is different from direct operation. In particular it allows any suitable company the opportunity to bid for the franchise.

Maybe that's the point. The government are stopping the potential for a franchising framework to be employed as a back-door way for councils to create a directly owned bus operation that then has an unfair advantage in obtaining the franchises at the expense of private companies.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
65,573
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
Maybe that's the point. The government are stopping the potential for a franchising framework to be employed as a back-door way for councils to create a directly owned bus operation that then has an unfair advantage in obtaining the franchises at the expense of private companies.

Is it not the case that Councils operating directly have to do so via an arms length arrangement anyway? Therefore such an operation would have to stand on its own two feet.

Yes, they could do it as a nonprofit, but so could anyone else - e.g. the myriad of "social enterprise" Community Transport operations which do sometimes bid for "big bus" tenders.
 

LexyBoy

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
23 Jan 2009
Messages
4,472
Location
North of the rivers
Maybe that's the point. The government are stopping the potential for a franchising framework to be employed as a back-door way for councils to create a directly owned bus operation that then has an unfair advantage in obtaining the franchises at the expense of private companies.

If the franchising process were properly run and open then the council owned firm could only win if it had the best bid.

In theory anyway; what would actually happen would be that Stagecoach and First would challenge every case in court and make it completely untenable. Then recoup their costs in the farebox.
 

aformeruser

Veteran Member
Joined
23 Jan 2009
Messages
30,636
I think there are certain rules which should be applied where a council run a bus company. For instance, not using public funds to create a bus war and providing all local bus times, not just times of council bus operated services. However, I have no problem with council run bus companies if such rules are applied.
 

HMS Ark Royal

Established Member
Joined
2 Sep 2015
Messages
2,811
Location
Hull
How will this affect ones such as North East Lincs Council who run the 55 in Scunthorpe?
 

TheGrandWazoo

Veteran Member
Joined
18 Feb 2013
Messages
16,600
Location
Somerset with international travel (e.g. across th
If the franchising process were properly run and open then the council owned firm could only win if it had the best bid.

In theory anyway; what would actually happen would be that Stagecoach and First would challenge every case in court and make it completely untenable. Then recoup their costs in the farebox.

That was the basis of compulsory competitive tendering - the best bid was supposed to win.

The setting up of arms length businesses was supposed to ensure that a level playing field was achieved and that councils weren't subsidising the bus operations from the tax revenue. The point now would be if a council were to bid for franchises but didn't have to pay for their depot facilities as that was picked up elsewhere by the council (e.g. in the refuse collection budget as the facility was shared with dustcarts). That would give them an unfair advantage in tendering against any private business
 

Dai Corner

Established Member
Joined
20 Jul 2015
Messages
2,931
Could someone explain the difference between a tendered service and a franchise please?
 

NSEFAN

Established Member
Joined
17 Jun 2007
Messages
3,388
Location
Southampton
TheGrandWazoo said:
The point now would be if a council were to bid for franchises but didn't have to pay for their depot facilities as that was picked up elsewhere by the council (e.g. in the refuse collection budget as the facility was shared with dustcarts). That would give them an unfair advantage in tendering against any private business
... but if it results in reduced costs for the taxpayer, isn't that a good thing? That's what privatisation is supposed to be about, at the end of the day...
 

TheGrandWazoo

Veteran Member
Joined
18 Feb 2013
Messages
16,600
Location
Somerset with international travel (e.g. across th
... but if it results in reduced costs for the taxpayer, isn't that a good thing? That's what privatisation is supposed to be about, at the end of the day...

However, is it actually reducing costs for the taxpayer?

If they are able to use resources (e.g. half of an existing council depot) whilst showing the costs, then yes. However, if you're fudging the figures by hiding the true cost elsewhere then no.
 

yorksrob

Veteran Member
Joined
6 Aug 2009
Messages
28,318
Location
Yorks
However, is it actually reducing costs for the taxpayer?

If they are able to use resources (e.g. half of an existing council depot) whilst showing the costs, then yes. However, if you're fudging the figures by hiding the true cost elsewhere then no.

But according to your example, the depot would have to be provided anyway to perform the Council's statutory waste collection duties, so to use those facilities for a bus service would represent a true saving which could theoretically be passed on to either the passenger or the taxpayer.
 

NSEFAN

Established Member
Joined
17 Jun 2007
Messages
3,388
Location
Southampton
yorksrob said:
But according to your example, the depot would have to be provided anyway to perform the Council's statutory waste collection duties, so to use those facilities for a bus service would represent a true saving which could theoretically be passed on to either the passenger or the taxpayer.
Exactly. Provided everything is properly accounted and no fudging is going on, I highly support pooling resources to reduce costs, as it means the available tax funding can be spent on providing better/more services.
 

Tetchytyke

Veteran Member
Joined
12 Sep 2013
Messages
11,616
Location
Isle of Man
Maybe that's the point. The government are stopping the potential for a franchising framework to be employed as a back-door way for councils to create a directly owned bus operation that then has an unfair advantage in obtaining the franchises at the expense of private companies.

But this should work both ways. When the likes of Transdev and Arriva Teesside decided they couldn't be bothered to serve rural North Yorkshire anymore, it was North Yorkshire County Council who were left holding the baby. Truly a case the privatised bus industry working well for the community it serves.
 

TheGrandWazoo

Veteran Member
Joined
18 Feb 2013
Messages
16,600
Location
Somerset with international travel (e.g. across th
But according to your example, the depot would have to be provided anyway to perform the Council's statutory waste collection duties, so to use those facilities for a bus service would represent a true saving which could theoretically be passed on to either the passenger or the taxpayer.

So, when the waste collection goes up for compulsory tender, then 100% of the cost of the depot gets allocated against that business, does it?
 

SCH117X

Member
Joined
27 Nov 2015
Messages
1,079
But this should work both ways. When the likes of Transdev and Arriva Teesside decided they couldn't be bothered to serve rural North Yorkshire anymore, it was North Yorkshire County Council who were left holding the baby. Truly a case the privatised bus industry working well for the community it serves.

More that NYCCs cost cutting resulted in tendered services being replaced by in house minibuses. Transdev have taken on commercially routes in N Yorks that NYCC were otherwise going to turn into minibus operations.
 

TheGrandWazoo

Veteran Member
Joined
18 Feb 2013
Messages
16,600
Location
Somerset with international travel (e.g. across th
But this should work both ways. When the likes of Transdev and Arriva Teesside decided they couldn't be bothered to serve rural North Yorkshire anymore, it was North Yorkshire County Council who were left holding the baby. Truly a case the privatised bus industry working well for the community it serves.

Hmmm... You could ask why any baby was left being held? The actions of NYCC and their derisory ENCTS remuneration?
 

Tetchytyke

Veteran Member
Joined
12 Sep 2013
Messages
11,616
Location
Isle of Man
You could ask why any baby was left being held? The actions of NYCC and their derisory ENCTS remuneration?

Well you know my opinion of ENCTS...

The issue is government won't adequately fund ENCTS, councils can't raise council tax by more than 2% without a referendum, and the councils that suffer the worst are ones with sparse populations in very rural settings and high tourist rates. Much like, er, North Yorkshire.

My point isn't so much about the ENCTS reimbursement rate, rather that the government are happy for councils to be forced to provide services when private providers fail, but aren't so hot on making private providers provide a service.
 
Last edited:

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
65,573
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
Hmmm... You could ask why any baby was left being held? The actions of NYCC and their derisory ENCTS remuneration?

The problem of course with ENCTS is that it's unfunded so Councils' hands are forced. Councils need to be able to raise Council Tax to properly fund it, but they can't.

Just another example of the outrageous treatment of elected local Councils by central Government.
 

yorksrob

Veteran Member
Joined
6 Aug 2009
Messages
28,318
Location
Yorks
So, when the waste collection goes up for compulsory tender, then 100% of the cost of the depot gets allocated against that business, does it?


I'm not convinced that waste should go out to compulsory tender either for that matter, but that's a different argument.

Anyway, the Council waste depot gas to be there, regardless of who wins the tender, so if the Council can make a saving by using it for buses as well, great.
 

SCH117X

Member
Joined
27 Nov 2015
Messages
1,079
Its certainly not in rate payers interests to privatise all council services. One London Council accepted a private bid to run a service; a year or so later they took it back as it was cheaper to run it themselves and that fundamentally was with them also paying the staff more than the private firm had - no MD etc to take their £££ share.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top