Page last updated at 14:15 GMT, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 15:15 UK

'Next stop' after city's bus war

Stagecoach bus (generic)
The two companies have now agreed to a code of practice

The traffic commissioner has said she hopes the bus industry in Preston can move on and put its problems behind it after the city's bus war was resolved.

Beverley Bell was speaking after a public inquiry following complaints about Stagecoach and Preston Bus activities in the summer of last year.

The firms were accused of using "dirty tactics" to compete for passengers.

At the inquiry Mrs Bell endorsed a Code of Practice agreed by the two companies governing the way they work.

The system will be independently monitored by Lancashire County Council.

'Dirty linen'

Mrs Bell said: "I hope now that this sorry period that has done so much harm to the good name of the bus industry can be put behind us and the people of Preston will get the safe and reliable services to which they are entitled."

But she warned the directors of both companies that she would not hesitate to act further if she received more complaints or if the companies did not keep their promises.

She said: "My view has been that it was better for both operators to give assurances about future behaviour rather than spend days washing dirty linen in public at an inquiry.

"However, if issues of this kind happen again I will not hesitate to use my powers to deal with them."

Stagecoach called to bus inquiry
18 Dec 07 |  Lancashire
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15 Jul 07 |  Manchester
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