Declares that the Petitioners are concerned about the high cost of bus fares for travellers needing to use services that extend beyond the boundaries of the cities of Bath and Bristol; notes that the costs of travel can be substantial where special city day fares are not available; and further notes that reducing bus fares can act as a means of reducing traffic pollution, easing congestion, promoting healthy lifestyles and even reducing the cost of living in these difficult economic times.
The Government do not control the fare prices of local bus services, which are generally provided by commercial bus operators, in a market environment, or procured by Local Transport Authorities as "tendered services".
Local Transport Authorities can impose a limit on fares upon an area as part of a statutory Quality Partnership Scheme. Such a proposal is currently being proposed by Bath and North East Somerset Council for the route corridor between Bath and Midsomer Norton via Odd Down, Dunkerton, Peasedown St John, Radstock and Westfield. The proposals would see fares capped in line with bus industry costs. This is part of the Greater Bristol Bus Network improvement scheme, which includes a further nine route corridors. The lead authorities for these route corridors intend to consult on similar arrangements.