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Don’t blame the bus companies of today
FIRST bus has come under a lot of flak recently.
Perhaps a brief look into history as to how the current situation came about is justified.
Prior to 1979, most of the country’s buses were owned and controlled by councils and PTEs.
These were run on a not-for-profit basis but as a service.
Then came Margaret Thatcher. Not-for-profit was an anathema to the Tories and the bus services were deregulated and privatised.
So buses were then run as a money-making business rather than a service.
Fares went up and services decreased. But no matter, a few people and shareholders became well off on the backs of the fare-paying passengers.
So do not blame First Bus for doing exactly what the Tories gave them licence to do. Greed is the raison d’étre and it suits the Tories.
It does have to be said at this point that we do have local operators who do at least try to provide a service for passengers.
Not all are greedy. But First have every right to put profit before service.
G Brian Ledger, Horseman Close, Copmanthorpe, York.
• IN RESPONSE to Josh Allen (Letters, October 10), I am sure that all former candidates, of any party, are fully aware of the powers that City of York Council hold over buses, as they are quite thin on the ground.
While the council has some degree of say where they would like buses to go, they have no control whatsoever over the timetables and ticket prices.
Indeed, had Mr Allen’s party bothered to do anything about this in the previous administration, we would not be seeing yet more problems due to the Liberals’ hands-off policies.
Owain Gardner, Forelands Crescent, Fulford.
• J NICHOLLS was spot on with the comments about the withdrawal of service 12 to Haxby (Letters, October 15).
However, the 13 which replaced it is not even an hourly service as for large parts of the day it has gaps of between 50 to 70 minutes and even a 90-minute gap in early evening.
First has given Haxby an unusable service and risks being in breach of the Trade Descriptions Act in calling it an hourly service.
I would also like to see where exactly the evening/Sunday service terminates.
Is it as the timetable says at the station or is a more convenient (for First) Station Rise?
If the latter is correct, then once again they risk breaching Trade Descriptions.
Ian Foster, Haxby, York.
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