FOCUS ON THE WEST OF ENGLAND
Competition has endured between operators in Plymouth, Swindon, Bournemouth and Bristol, as DAVID JENKINS explains
If the architect of deregulation in the 1980s, transport secretary Nicholas Ridley, thought competition would prevail everywhere, he was wrong. But there are several larger West of England towns and cities where two operators have managed to exist alongside each other, even surviving changes of ownership.
And ownership matters, as First discovered during its battle with council-owned Plymouth Citybus. First expanded its presence with tendered service wins in late 2007, following up with an extensive competing network operated under a brand name Ugo, which it used for all sorts of marketing slogans, on a theme of ‘We go where Ugo’.