I have said before that there is a need for greater bus regulation but I am calling for it again. Yesterday Dundee pensioners complained about the bus service over the Christmas and New Year period and a report from the Competition Commission was published which has suggested that across the UK there is a lack of competition in the bus market.
People expect the local bus service to be just that - a service. Unfortunately bus companies are run to try and make a profit. In the West End we have seen changes which have made the service poorer for people who live in the Tullideph, Pentland and Ancrum areas, many of these people are elderly. We have also seen how difficult it was to get a suitable service between the West End and St John's High School. The Competition Commission issued a report yesterday which highlighted uncompetitive nature of the bus industry across much of the United Kingdom.
The solution to these problems in my opinion is the introduction of a much greater level of regulation in the bus industry. I have absolutely no difficulty with bus companies making a profit, but I do think that they should be made to deliver a service which meets the needs of the people they serve. In order to operate in Dundee, for example, the council should be able to ask them to deliver a certain level of service which meets social needs in the city. In my mind this would include things such as ensuring good services to schools and hospitals and areas with large elderly populations but would also include things like services on Boxing Day.