Statement in response to the Bus Services Bill

The Go-Ahead Group acknowledges the publication of the Bus Services Bill.

Go-Ahead supports the emphasis in the Bill on the partnership model.

Working in partnership at a local level can bring about better outcomes for both bus passengers and taxpayers. Our devolved structure facilitates local management accountability and allows us to tailor our regional bus services to the needs of the customers and work with local transport authorities to deliver their objectives. The Bill’s new Enhanced Partnerships offer the potential to consolidate the benefits already achieved through the strong alliances Go-Ahead companies have forged with local authorities.

Go-Ahead notes the process by which new franchising powers granted to combined authorities can be exercised and remain to be convinced that their application will deliver better services for our customers than the existing system of competition between operators and partnership working with local transport authorities. As plainly demonstrated by the findings of an independent Board on the Quality Contracts Scheme proposals for Tyne and Wear*, independent and robust appraisal of proposed transport schemes is essential. Measures brought forward in the Bus Services Bill must ensure that the franchise decision-making process is transparent and that any franchise proposals will deliver on customer service, value for money and affordability criteria. 

Go-Ahead will follow the progress of the Bill through Parliament and continue to help inform the debate. We remain committed to working with local transport authorities to ensure the best possible deal is achieved for bus passengers.

* https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/quality-contract-scheme-qcs-board-report-on-the-proposed-tyne-and-wear-qcs

ENDS 

The Go-Ahead Group 

Peter Russell, Interim Head of Investor Relations
07775 420 996 

Sarah Boundy, Group Corporate Communications Director
07808 568 667 

Citigate Dewe Rogerson 

Michael Berkeley / Chris Barrie/ Angharad Couch / Eleni Menikou 020 7638 9571 

Go-Ahead 

Go-Ahead is a leading UK public transport operator, providing high quality services in the bus and rail sectors. Employing around 26,000 people across the country, over one billion passenger journeys are undertaken on our services each year. We are committed to operating our companies in a safe, socially and environmentally responsible way and are proud to be the first company in the transport industry to be accredited with the Carbon Trust Triple Standard after taking action on climate change, water and waste recycling. In addition to the travelling public, our customers include the Department for Transport, Transport for London (TfL) and local authorities. 

Bus 

Go-Ahead is one of the UK's largest bus operators. With a fleet of around 4,700 buses, we carry nearly two million passengers every day. Our operations are focused on high density commuter markets. We have a strong presence in London, with around 24 per cent market share, where we provide regulated services for TfL. We operate deregulated services in Oxford, East Anglia, the South East, Southern and North East England. 

Rail 

The rail operation, Govia, is 65 per cent owned by Go-Ahead and 35 per cent by Keolis. It is the busiest rail operation in the UK, currently responsible for nearly 30 per cent of all UK passenger rail journeys through its four rail franchises: Govia Thameslink Railway, Southern (which includes the Gatwick Express), Southeastern and London Midland.