Passenger Voice October 2015: Competition, competition, competition

30 September 2015

We have recently been asked to comment on three public transport consultations, all of which have competition as a common theme.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has conducted a review of the so-called public transport ‘block exemption’. This is what prevents multi-operator and multi-modal tickets falling foul of anti-competition rules and prevents operators working together to fix prices.

Time and again our research highlights the importance passengers place on value for money and value multi-operator tickets. We are pleased to support the recommendation that this exemption be retained. Our response can be found by clicking here.

The Office of Rail and Road also carried out a consultation on its Retail Market Review which looked at how the rail ticket retailing market could be reformed. Its main theme was how to introduce an element of competition and choice into the selling of tickets, with the aim being to promote more innovation. Our response can be found by clicking here.

The third consultation is perhaps the most radical. It is another from the CMA but this time it is looking at how to get more direct competition into railway services. Ideas include encouraging more ‘open access’ type operators (for example Grand Central), creating more overlapping franchises or even having two competing operators within each franchise area. This consultation closes on 16 October, so there is still time to contribute. Take a look at it here.


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