Friday 4 November 2011

More on Alleged Collusion in North East

Following yesterdays news that the Competition Commission had found evidence of collusion between Arriva and Go North East, it has been revealed by the Newcastle Journal that documents released to the Commission have exposed a four-year bus war between the companies which saw officers threatening to start up new routes if the other firm encroached on their territory.
But despite these battles, senior staff at the two firms later colluded to not compete, with 70 emails, phone calls and meetings between them – far too high for what would normally be expected of competing firms, the Competition Commission said.

 Route 604 is no longer served by Arriva since the route and depot swap.
(click to enlarge)

For years both firms were locked in sporadic bouts of aggression while at the same they were discussing with each other who should have which territory.
As aggression continued to bubble away, the two sides eventually agreed to swap depots, allowing Go North East to be handed Hexham to Newcastle routes while Arriva took control of routes from Ashington into Newcastle.
This substantially reduced competition on both corridors into Newcastle and the motives of the deal are questioned by the Competition Commission.
During the "bus war" Go North East created "Bargain Express" using coaches      © David Gambles

 David Gambles