Stephen Williams MP - working hard for Bristol West

Stephen Williams MP and Paul Harrod Call for Competition to First Bus Monopoly

11.43.00am BST (GMT +0100) Wed 17th Oct 2007

first bus

Stephen Williams MP has tabled an Early Day Motion calling for an end to the First Group monopoly on public transport in Bristol. On September 1st, First Bus cancelled and re-routed many of its services across Bristol. The EDM, submitted to the House of Commons by Stephen Williams MP was drafted in collaboration with Paul Harrod, the prospective Lib Dem MP for Bristol North West. The EDM reads:

That this House notes the plans by First Group to reduce bus services in north Bristol; recognises that these services are used by a significant number of elderly and vulnerable people as their main means of transport; further notes that First Group holds monopoly on bus services in Bristol; and calls on the Government to do everything in its power to persuade First to retain these services, and to open up competition in the provision of bus services in major cities.

Stephen William MP commented:

"We must get to grips with the public transport system in Bristol. The monopoly of First Group of the city's buses, is resulting in a public transport system that is expensive to use and is driving passengers back into their cars. The market must be opened up to competition. What we are seeing at the present time in Bristol is a bus company that gives the impression that its prime motivation is to shareholders and not the customer."

In response to the cancellation of the 54a and 55 services, Paul Harrod commented:

"Bristol needs competition. If more companies were operating the lucrative services in the centre of the city there would be more money to subsidise so-called "unprofitable" services such as the 54a and 55. I am campaigning to get these routes back and also for the introduction of greater competition so we do not have to face this issue again."

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