I have a note from the chief executive of one of the main bus operators in South Dorset. Although, as private bus operator, he welcomes the Bill, believing that working together is a good idea, he thinks that franchising is a slightly perverse route for a Conservative Government to follow. He states:
“If a franchise model was adopted, this could lead to a future layer of bureaucracy being introduced, and the local authority would be designing the bus network and setting prices.”
Will my right hon. Friend comment on that point?