New public transport service as from January 2015
From the Times of Malta
The new public transport service will start in January 2015 after a court today turned down a request by Maltese consortium Island Buses Malta to stop the transport authorities from entering into any contracts or agreements with the Spanish company Autobus de Leon to run the bus service.
In a statement this afternoon, the government said it would continue working for the people to have the public transport service they deserved.
It said that the new routes will be entering service gradually as from January.
The court said that granting the Maltese consortium the injunction to stop the government from signing a contract with the Spaniards was “disproportionate”.
Madam Justice Padovani Grima ruled that the effects of the injunction on the government were far greater than the effect the signing would have on Island Buses.
The government, the court said, was forking out thousands of euros every day to keep the public transport service running and to honour the contract it had with Arriva.
She said Island Buses had other means to counter the effects the signing would have.
The judge further said that citizens of Malta had the right to a better public transport service and stopping the signing of the new agreement will affect them directly.
She said that the only effect the signing of this agreement with the Spaniards could have on the Maltese consortium is of a financial nature, through loss in earnings and this could be addressed with a court case in the appropriate forum claiming pecuniary damages.
She ruled that the elements to uphold a request for an injunction had not been satisfied, especially since Island Buses had not managed to prove on the need for the injunction to be issued.
Along with Spanish group Autobuses de Leon and Gozo First Travel, the Maltese consortium was one of the three bidders submitting an offer, following an expression of interest which closed on April 7.
In the request filed in court Island Buses argued that the tender was awarded to Autobuses De Leon when their bid did not respect the conditions laid down in the call for expression of interest (EOI).