THE boss of transport giant Go-Ahead has claimed the plans to bring Tyne & Wear bus services back into public sector control are motivated by a hunger for power.
The Newcastle-based firm behind bus services nationwide and a third of UK rail journeys said the council-backed plan to launch “quality contracts” to set the area’s bus routes and fares would “decimate” the service.
Go-Ahead, which runs 72 million journeys in the region a year, is the latest North East bus operator to attack the scheme they argue will be more expensive, lead to a rise in fares and leave councils open to huge financial risks.
Chief executive David Brown said: “These plans will decimate bus services in Newcastle. We want to be rational and co-operative and let the facts speak for themselves.
“My message to the councils is please tell me what we should be doing that we are not doing to improve services.
“We have a 98% customer satisfaction rating, we are investing in services and there is no risk of the public finances. The reason behind this is politics. It has to be about power.
“The public sector is taking a risk on itself it does not need to take and the current situation is working very well.”