MP to face lawyers over North East QCS

An MP is to face cross-examination at the inquiry that will hear evidence about the proposed North East Quality Contracts Scheme (QCS) in Tyne & Wear.

It comes after Houghton and Sunderland South Labour MP, Bridget Phillipson [pictured], asked to give evidence. The Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Users Group also requested the opportunity to give oral evidence. Both strongly support the QCS.

As part of the deliberations, both witnesses can be cross-examined.

The QCS board has confirmed a timetable to examine the planned QCS, with oral evidence sessions into the proposed scheme in March and April 2015. It follows a directions hearing on 26 November.

QCS Board chairman Kevin Rooney has written to the Secretary of State for Transport, saying that the “complexity of the QCS, the changes to the proposals since the initial consultation and the fact that this is the first scheme of its kind are exceptional circumstances. The need for fairness in the process requires the Board to exercise its powers to extend the timeframe to ensure proper scrutiny.”

The board has instructed Nexus and three bus operators (Arriva North East, Go North East and Stagecoach) to define and refine the issues, including analysis of the underlying economic modelling, by February 2015.