NEBOA outlines proposals

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Bus operaters in the North East are promising cheaper fares for young people, a new range of busto- bus tickets and savings for local councils of a quarter of a million pounds in the first year alone of a bus partnership agreement.

In the partnership document, called ‘Better by Far’, the companies proposal includes a ‘no-change amnesty’ under which bus operators are committed to no changes to services in the first twelve months of the partnership.

Kevin Carr, Chairman of NEBOA, said: “Our partnership offering contains clear benefits for existing passengers and a range of new fares which should help us grow patronage. A three-tier approach to ticketing provides simplicity, value for money and customer choice. Multi-operator tickets suit people who use the services of more than one company but don’t need to use Metro. Single-operator tickets allow firms to offer best-value fares for local journeys and the Network One multi-operator tickets will continue to be ideal for people using multimodal transport.

“A new ticket range will also mean huge savings for 16 to 18 year-olds. Partnership means cheaper fares for thousands of people next spring, when Nexus already admitted fares will rise if a QC is introduced.

“In the first year of a partnership agreement, bus companies will be investing more than £32m in new vehicles, depots and staff training. Partnership working offers an effective, efficient and affordable method of delivering improvements for Tyne and Wear’s buses. On the other hand, the QCS is seriously flawed, exposing local authorities to increased financial risk.

“Implementing a QCS could take years and involve set-up costs of £2.5m, but if the ITA decides to progress the partnership proposals, all of this could be in place as early as next April.”

“NEBOA will meet with members of the ITA to give a presentation on its proposals on November 9.

“Tyne and Wear has one of the best bus networks in the country according to Passenger Focus.”