West of England traffic commissioner Kevin Rooney has ordered Stagecoach South West to provide free weekend travel in the Exeter Plus zone on December 10/11 and 17/18 – costing £120,000 – after a public inquiry found 21% of its buses failed to run with it too slow to react to staff shortages.
He recorded Stagecoach's intent to provide, at peak hours for two years, a dedicated employee in Exeter Bus Station to maintain displays and provide passenger advice, costing £140,000. It can apply to cancel the obligation if circumstances change.
Rooney felt regulatory action was required but a fine would not benefit passengers, so accepted Stagecoach's free travel proposal and asked for improved information. The combined costs exceed the alternative maximum £234,850 fine.