The Welsh Government is hoping that its plan for the whole of Wales to switch to franchising will create bigger opportunities for home-grown bus companies and municipal operators.
One of the proposals is that a municipal bus company could step in, as the ‘Operator of Last Resort’, to maintain services in a different area of Wales. The OLR provision would come into play if no bids are received for a franchise or if a franchisee ceases to operate before the end of a contract term.
The government has decided that its forthcoming legislation will not include provisions for operators and authorities to form Enhanced Partnerships. It says the option has achieved little in England, and would prevent Wales moving quickly towards a single bus network with coordinated timetables and fares.