Date lodged: 6 March 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the impact of competitive tendering processes for bus services.
Answered by: Humza Yousaf 20 March 2017
Each local authority is responsible for determining the tendering process they use for bus services. The Accounts Commission are the custodians of Best Value and Audit Scotland is responsible for carrying out best value audits of local authorities. Scottish Councils are autonomous bodies, independent of central government and as long as they act legally the Scottish Government would not become involved.
The Transport Bill, which we want to introduce during the current Parliament, will aim to strengthen the range of options available to local authorities to improve bus services in their areas, such as through better partnership working with bus operators, setting up their own bus operations or introducing local franchises, in which operators would compete for the right to operate services under contract. These options will be sufficiently flexible to be customised to meet the needs of both rural and urban areas. We will consult on these measures.