Bus Services Bill [Lords]

Part of Supply and Appropriation (Anticipation and Adjustments) Bill – in the House of Commons at 1:07 pm on 1st March 2017.

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Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling The Secretary of State for Transport 1:07 pm, 1st March 2017

In a sense, the hon. Gentleman argues against himself. He complains about competition in those areas, but at the same time says that bus companies have been able to exploit monopoly positions. That is inconsistent. We will see whether the next Mayor of Manchester manages to demonstrate that he or she can do a better job than the private sector. That is the test. Let us see whether they can deliver that. If Andy Burnham is successful in his campaign, we will watch with interest.

This is not just about mayoral authorities but about authorities elsewhere. I want to be clear that, while we are open to plans from other authorities to take franchising powers, we will give them only if they can demonstrate that they can do a better job than the current one. A compelling case needs to be made before any other authority receives consent. The key point is that we have the point of accountability with the Mayor, who will have a legal duty to demonstrate an enhanced service, or a point of accountability in the Government, who likewise will judge whether a proposal will deliver that enhanced service.