Tyne and Wear Quality Contracts Scheme proposal – Passenger Focus response

06 December 2013

The proposed Quality Contracts Scheme (QCS) in Tyne and Wear would change the way in which bus services are delivered in the region and would be the country’s first example of its type.

We represent bus passengers, so we believe that any proposal must be centred on passengers.  We are, of course, aware that the consultation has led to heated discussions, many of which concern issues of principle as well as costs.

Our approach in this submission has been to focus on outputs for passengers.  This stance is based on qualitative research  with passengers which explored their understanding of  the bus ‘world’ and what role they wanted within it.  What came through strongly was that passengers cared much more about the service provided than the structure or inputs required to deliver this.

Passengers liked, and expected, operators and local authorities to work together. They were, though, less interested in the precise model of doing so – the legal nuances between a Quality Partnership and Quality Contract not being top of mind.  However, they were clear that any agreements needed to backed up by ‘teeth’ should performance not meet passengers’ expectations

Therefore in the remainder of this submission we look at what passengers have told us they want and how well the Quality Contract proposal aligns with, and delivers, these aspirations. We have not seen the detail of the alternative Quality Partnership proposals put forward by the North East Bus Operators’ Association (NEBOA) so we are simply not in a position to compare/contrast the benefits arising from the two models.

Tyne and Wear Quality Contracts Scheme proposal - Passenger Focus reponse - 2103.pdf
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