HC Deb 30 October 1989 vol 159 cc12-3
12. Mr. Bowis

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to ensure a more flexible approach to the planning of bus transport in London.

Mr. Portillo

The restructuring of London Buses Ltd. into separate subsidiaries will encourage further competition. London Regional Transport plans to increase the proportion of the network contracted out to 40 per cent. by 1992.

Mr. Bowis

Does my hon. Friend agree that ultimately an improvement in London bus services depends upon much greater deregulation, a tantalising example of which was seen during the bus strike when the Grey-Greens were able to run? In the meantime, will my hon. Friend urge on London Regional Transport a policy of listening to its new and excellent area managers, who are listening to the public and offering to provide services that the public want and will use, such as a minibus service through Battersea square? Will he encourage London Regional Transport to give such schemes the go-ahead?

Mr. Portillo

I think that London Regional Tranport listens carefully to its area managers. The background to the position in my hon. Friend's constituency is that London Regional Transport has been conducting a major survey into the services that should be provided in that area. It intends to come forward with proposals for consultation in the new year. It has also announced its intention to put the new network in Wandsworth out to competitive tender during 1990. I think therefore that in every respect that meets my hon. Friend's wishes. London Regional Transport is considering proposals from residents for a minibus service for north Battersea.

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