Despite the government pledging franchising powers under a devolution proposal, Cornwall County Council has now announced that it does not plan to go down the franchising route, but instead would use it as a ‘last resort’.
The surprise franchising announcement created uncertainty, especially as the county has made big cuts to bus funding in recent years, which, in part led to the collapse of Western Greyhound in March.
Now, Cornwall Portfolio Holder for Transport Bert Biscoe says: “We are seeking the power to franchise as a back-up in the event that for one reason or another a partnership approach can’t achieve our aims. Our overall objective is to integrate rail and bus.”
The Government this week has said that it is considering the case for a new rail franchise covering Devon and Cornwall.
© Richard Smith
I am sure that First will be relieved to hear that news as it at least removed any uncertainty and lets them get on with the business of running buses in Cornwall as the main operator in the county.