This morning I was contacted by Speedwell, asking my to correct the information on the blog with the following details :
“The contract which we had with DCC for the 239 expired in March 2010. At that point we met with them and stated that we could not continue with the previous rate of subsidy as it had not been increased in real terms for over five years. DCC stated that they were unable to increase the subsidy, so we then registered the journeys which we felt we could operate commercially.
At no point have Speedwell agreed to a further contract for the 239 beyond March 2010 – we were invited to extend the contract to 2013, but declined to do so for the reasons above. If anyone at DCC is telling you that there is a contract still in force they are misleading you. I would invite them to produce any document signed by us which proves otherwise.”
However when I queried the above details with the County Council they advised the following :
“The contract did not expire in March 2010, they instead advise that the contract commenced on 23rd March 2008 and was scheduled to end on 31st March 2013.
They are unsure as to why Speedwell is advising that there was an offer to extend the contract, because as it was not due to expire until 31st March 2013 there was no need to extend the contract.”
Now I don’t want to comment on who is right or otherwise, I’ll leave that to readers of the blog to decide.
However one possible way of avoiding issues like this in the future could be to follow the example of the GMPTE who publish details of tenders issued for bus services, and as an example the May edition available by clicking here details near the bottom of page 4 details for parts of the 341 service.