§ Lord Morris of Manchester
asked Her Majesty's Government: What monitoring takes place of the cancellation 36WA of bus services by operators contracted to provide subsidised services; how cancellations in Greater Manchester over the past year compare with those in other conurbations; and whether they have plans to require operators to compensate passengers left at the roadside by cancelled services. [HL4973]
§ Lord Davies of Oldham:
The monitoring of compliance with the terms of subsidised bus contracts is the responsibility of the local transport authority which issues the contract. In addition, the Traffic Commissioner is responsible for enforcing the bus service registration rules which require the operator of a local bus service—whether subsidised or commercial—to run that service in accordance with the timetable details registered with the commissioner.
I understand that the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE) undertakes regular monitoring of its subsidised bus contracts, and the results show that in 2002–03 nearly 92 per cent of these ran as required under the terms of the contracts. GMPTE reports that this indicates a higher level of cancellation of subsidised services than is the case in other PTE areas.
In order to inform the Government's 10–year plan target for bus reliability, national data are collected on the number of scheduled services run. The latest figures show that 98.6 per cent of all local bus services were run as scheduled. These data are not collected separately for subsidised services and are not available on an area basis.
I also understand that GMPTE already penalises operators for lost mileage on subsidised services, and is currently considering proposals for operators to assist passengers who are affected by the non-operation of subsidised services.
The Government have no plans currently to impose requirements on operators to compensate passengers for service cancellations.