HC Deb 16 October 2003 vol 411 cc287-8W
Mrs. Dunwoody

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will instigate a monitoring system for bus operators in receipt of local government subsidies to ensure proper compliance with quality bus partnership standards. [132561]

Mr. McNulty

Quality bus partnerships are normally agreements which require investment by operators in better vehicles or other means of improving services, so would apply to profitable services that are operated without subsidy. Where operators of subsidised services are able to use the facilities provided by local authorities under quality partnership schemes, it is open to the local authority to specify the required standards in the contract and enforce compliance with the operator's contractual obligations.

In the case of a statutory quality partnership under the Transport Act 2000, Traffic Commissioners have the power to impose financial penalties on operators who fail to comply with undertakings they have made under the partnership scheme, or place conditions on their licences.

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