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Greater Manchester (Bus Services)

Volume 114: debated on Monday 6 April 1987

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13.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received from political parties on the effects of the introduction of competition into bus services in the Greater Manchester area.

None from political parties, but during the period following bus deregulation I received a number of representations about problems in Greater Manchester where the PTE failed to deliver the normal, smooth transition achieved in most other areas.

If, as now seems to be extraordinarily unlikely, the Conservative party were not returned to office at the next general election, what would happen to free enterprise bus operators and to Stockport's Bee Line Buzz Company? My hon. Friend has already seen this busy little company and knows that it has stung the Greater Manchester Bus Company, which has fumbled and bungled for years, into action. Stockport is now all abuzz. What will happen to us if that untoward event were to happen?

I have visited the Bee Line Buzz Company in south Manchester, where over 220 minibuses are operating at present. The whole place is a hive of activity. My hon. Friend is right to be concerned about the future of minibus activities in the 150 towns and villages up and down the country where minibuses operate, including Manchester, because the Labour party's policy for transport statement says:

"The first legislation to be introduced by a Labour Transport Secretary will include the repeal of the 1985 Transport Act".
In that case, my hon. Friend has very good reason to be concerned, as have many other people who have benefited from the new services that have been introduced following the passing of the Act.