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Bill won't end routes

28th June 1980, Page 25
28th June 1980
Page 25
Page 25, 28th June 1980 — Bill won't end routes
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

THE WARNING by chairman Lord Shepherd, that many co because of the Transport Bill ment last week. of the National Bus Company untry routes would be ended was criticised by the Govern The present licensing system and the cross-subsidisation mentioned by Lord Shepherd had not halted the decline in bus services, declared Under Secretary for the Environment Lord Bellwin.

It was, he said, wrong to attribute to the Transport Bill cuts in services that any prudent operator had to make as casts rose and demand changed. The nation could not afford the massive subsidies that would otherwise be needed. The Transport Bill made it easier for small new private operators to enter the market, and it might well be that they could provide the kind of service on the less-used routes that the NBC could not.

The greater competition on the more profitable routes would tend to keep fares down and improve services, maintained Lord Bellwin.

Although there may be fewer profits available for crosssubsidisation it was wrong to assume that this always benefited the poorer sections of the community.

,'Opposition spokesman Lord Underhill said that it would be of little value if one area was perhaps to improve its services to the detriment of a network of services or if new operators came in to cream off the best routes on the most popular days and at the most profitable times.