Lilian Greenwood MP, Shadow Transport Secretary, responding to the Nexus Quality Contract Scheme Board’s recommendations, said:
“The Board’s decision is hugely disappointing. It puts the needs of shareholders ahead of passengers and critically undermines one of George Osborne’s key ‘Northern Powerhouse’ commitments. We must reverse the decline in bus services outside London and it’s clear that the deregulated model has failed. Labour’s councillors in the North East were absolutely right to push for reform in the face of appalling abuse and they continue to have our full support.
“Today’s announcement proves once and for all that the current law is not fit for purpose and the onus is now on the Government to bring forward new legislation. The Board’s recommendation that bus operators receive hundreds of millions in compensation from stretched local authorities is a huge blow to the devolution agenda, and the recommendation risks leaving George Osborne unable to deliver one of his major ‘Northern Powerhouse’ commitments. It’s now vital that the Government does not cave in to pressure and duck the need to include radical measures in its forthcoming Buses Bill.”