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No to objection over competition

17th February 1978
Page 24
Page 24, 17th February 1978 — No to objection over competition
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

OBJECTIONS to an application for an increase in fares charged by an Invergowrie coach firm, were heard at a sitting of the Scottish area Traffic Commissioners in Dundee last week.

Mr James Cosgrove, propellor of Tay Valley Coaches and Fyffe's Tours, had applied for an increase in fares on his tours and permission to increase the number of vehicles he operated on any one day from two to five.

W. Alexander & Sons (Northern) Ltd, and Watson's Tours (Dundee) Ltd, objected on the grounds that Mr Cosgrove was providing unfair competition.

They contended that even with the increase applied for on Fyffe's Tours, Mr Cosgrove's fares would still be too low.

Mr Cosgrove said he took over Fyffe's in January last year. He agreed the fares he charged during his first operating season last year were at a level fixed in 1971, but said he was obliged to charge these until an increase could be applied for.

He accepted these fares were substantially lower than those charged by the objectors. However, he felt that if his application for an increase was granted there would not be unfair competition.

Mr Derek Stuart, traffic manager with W. Alexander & Sons (Northern) Ltd, said that there had been a two-thirds reduction in the number of passengers carried and in revenue while Mr Cosgrove had been operating. He wanted to be able to compete on the basis of the service offered rather than on a vast difference in prices.

Mr Geoffrey Hoyle, a director of Watson's Tours (Dundee) Ltd, said he estimated his firm had lost about £2,500 to Mr Cosgrove. He was seriously concerned about the possible long term effects if the situation continued.

Mr. A. B. Birnie, chairman of the commissioners, said they had decided to grant the fare application. Mr Cosgrove would only be allowed to use two vehicles on any one day except for the Dundee trades holiday fortnight, when he could operate four.

Mr Cosgrove had also applied for an extension of his operating season to last from January to December and a variation in his licence to use 57-seat coaches as opposed to 53-seaters. Both of these applications were granted.

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