It will be interesting to watch how those that have spent large sums of public money to support this scheme (in an area where passenger satisfaction is higher than anywhere else in the UK) now accept that buses are better left to those that have the skills to run them.
Already we are hearing misleading statements being churned out by those that should know better. Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council and transport lead for NECA, said: "Today is an exceptionally disappointing day for bus passengers.
"The proposals were put forward in the best interests of the travelling public." Has he not read what the QCS Board have said and that "the proposed scheme does not provide value for money". How can it be disappointing for bus passengers when "the scheme cannot demonstrate that it would increase use of bus services because its affordability is not demonstrated"
What it proves is that it was doomed to failure from the start and that bus users are getting tremendous value for money from a service that takes very little from local taxes. The Tyne & Wear Metro blunders along, propped up by public money, what we don't want is that the buses are sucked into to the same pot with the attitude that "someone will pay for it" Those leading this scheme have admitted that it would soon run out of money.
What needs to happen now is that all parties sit down at the table and take up the offer of a soundly based Quality Partnership. The local bus companies possess all all the skills and knowledge to make the buses in Tyne & Wear even better than they are, providing that he councils and public bodies give buses the help they need to penetrate town and city traffic which is what the travelling public really want.
No more public money should be wasted on these hair-brained ideas. Maybe those responsible, should be investigated for trying to mislead the public and wasting public finances.