16 September 2009

The Wider View: Warning from Reading


"We certainly don’t want that in Reading



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As Plymouth City Council start to review the five bids for Plymouth Citybus I thought it would be a good idea to look at news stories in other parts of the country which have caught my eye as maybe having some relevance to Plymouth. We start with a warning from Reading:

Reading Buses is a company which has long been seen by many as a successful and innovative company. However it is now struggling financially and is currently loosing £40,000 a week and has been making steps to sort it out, which are not proving popular with drivers who have called for strike action. This story came to may attention when Reading Transport Chief Executive James Freeman gave his staff a stark warning:

“Whatever action may be taken it will harm the way that we operate, it jeopardises our revenue, risks losing us public sympathy and above all may draw the attention of one of the big four bus groups to a potential weakness here, thus drawing in a predatory attack.” He added:

“Such an attack would have untold consequences on Reading Transport Limited – leading to we know not what.”

Mr Freeman likened it to the situation in Plymouth, where commercial operator First has been given permission to run four major service routes against the council-owned CityBus.

“This will lead to unbridled bus competition on the streets of Plymouth and will undermine CityBus’s revenues, perhaps leading to its collapse. We certainly don’t want that in Reading,” .

Source: GetReading 28 August 2009
0706-01 (by ian.simpson223@btintern et.com)©Ian Simpson:  Reading Buses Optare Spectra bodied DAF DB250 706, L706FRD in Reading town centre



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