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Municipal Bus Undertakings

Volume 264: debated on Tuesday 24 October 1995

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the management-employee buy-outs of municipal bus undertakings which have since been sold on to private operators. [38756]

Municipal bus undertakings which are bought out by management-employee teams become private sector companies. My Department does not formally monitor changes of ownership within the bus industry.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what is his policy in respect of compelling local authorities to dispose of their municipal bus companies and to bring forward the necessary legislation in this Parliament. [38892]

Our policy continues to be to encourage local authorities to sell their bus companies, as many have already done. As and when a suitable legislative opportunity arises, we shall seek powers to compel authorities still owning bus companies to sell them.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what considerations he takes into account when deciding whether or not to approve the sale of a municipal bus undertaking to a management-employee buy-out. [38891]

The decision on whether a municipal bus company is put up for sale and the conditions attaching to that sale are solely matters for the owners, but under the Transport Act 1985 the consent of the Secretary of State is needed to the arrangements made. Since 1992 it has been policy not to grant consent to a sale, whether to a management-employee buy-out or otherwise, unless it has followed a competitive tender.