‘Bury the Bus Services Bill’

Your Westminster Watch column confirmed what we have all suspected.

The Bus Services Bill is a piece of up-coming legislation opposed by much of the industry and, it now seems, that Department for Transport (DfT) didn't want it or expect it either.

Invented in Osborne's Treasury as a sop to the promoters of the Northern Powerhouse, its future should surely be urgently reviewed.

Northern Local Authorities can still have everything worth having under existing legislation – and they can also avoid the substantial tab that the Nexus experience proved goes with creating new contracted metropolitan networks.

Since the Brexit referendum victory, things in Westminster have changed a tad. 

Osborne himself, who was happy to sacrifice the British-owned bus groups as collateral in his grand plan for devolution, has been unceremoniously dumped. With Osborne's departure, the one Government reason for pursuing this legislation has now gone too.

Chris Grayling, the new man at the transport helm, surely stands more chance of being listened to than his predecessor ever was. 

No one yet knows where Brexit will take us, but one thing is clear. Do we really want to legislate now to risk Eurozone state-owned enterprises shutting our British-owned businesses out of the bus market in our urban conurbations? 

If you are uncertain then ask yourself these questions. Will British bus operators be permitted to bid for contracted bus services in French cities in 2025?

Not sure about that either? Then why on earth legislate now to encourage the reverse to happen?

Theresa May promises pragmatism and a steely resolve, so Chris, please quietly bury the Bus Services Bill now and show British industry that this Government is going to make Brexit work for all of us.

Tim Gibson,