The DfT’s existing best practice guidance on tendering bus service contracts is being updated and expanded, covering England, Scotland and Wales.
The work will explore the full range of passenger transport services offered across local authority service areas, including education, social care and health. This is in response to the Competition Commission’s concerns that certain aspects of the tender process are reducing competition for contracts and that a limited number of potential bidders exists in some areas. The updated guidance document will aim to identify practical actions to address these concerns and is scheduled to be finalised and publically available from the 31 October.
The Department has also commissioned a wider review of the barriers to achieving more cost effective and better value for money bus service procurement in England (outside London). This review is expected to promote some interesting discussions on the current state of bus service procurement, leading to a set of recommendations for the Department that stem from the knowledge and experience of those working in the industry.
This second document will be available towards the end of December.