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UNEXPECTED competition between an independent bingo bus service and a National Bus subsidiary has prompted ratepayers to send a petition to Derbyshire County Council.
The problem arose after Albert Wilde Coaches was granted a licence for a bingo service in Belper, which also runs at school journeys and which competes with two established Trent routes.
Trent responded to the competition by reducing its fares and varying one of the routes, but some Belper ratepayers have written complaining that Trent and the county council appear to be trying to put Wilde out of business.
According to the council, it only became aware of the problem when Mr Wilde complained about Trent's changes, and said it had paid little attention to Wilde's original application as it appeared to be confined to bingo journeys.
The Trent services receive £3,263 revenue support, but the county says it has not received any formal request for revenue support from Wilde, although it has reduced the fare it charges for schoolchildren. The county also believes that as all three services run to capacity, all can be justified, and it proposes to take no more action.