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Labour’s Ed Miliband is pushing a plan to give local government outside of London more power to regulate bus transportation and integrate it with rail and tram services. He is promising that a new Labour government will push reforms that he says will enable all of the UK to experience the benefits of economic recovery now being enjoyed in London. However, would such proposals have any negative impact on companies and PCV drivers?

According to one company, they would. Stagecoach says that government interference outside of London would inevitably cause fares to go up. Their position is one of government interference increasing prices by removing competition from the equation. If Stagecoach and other bus companies were correct, bus service would cost more across-the-board while potentially reducing the number of PCV drivers and the jobs available to them.

For their part, Labour has said their plan is part of a larger effort to devolve many of the powers now entrusted to the centralised government in the wake of the independence vote in Scotland. They say it is time to give local government more freedom in the way they regulate activities within their jurisdictions. The Conservative Party agrees in principle, but they are in favour of taking a slower, more cautious approach to the question.

Miliband says that the bus service provided throughout the UK does not serve consumers as well as it should, with the exception of London. We are likely to hear similar comments from other Labour politicians in the run-up to next year’s elections. For now, all the bus companies can do is continue operating with a strategy of continuing to do what they have always done. That means PCV drivers have plenty of work to keep them busy throughout Britain for the time being.

Always a Tough Question

The question of government regulation is always a tough one to answer. On the one hand is the desire to meet the needs of the consumer on the street. On the other hand, government regulation always affects business decisions and, by default, jobs. It is difficult to regulate an industry without affecting retail prices, the volume of goods and services offered, and the workers employed to meet customer needs.

The HGV Training Centre does not take an official position on whether or not local municipalities should be allowed to regulate bus service. Nonetheless, we will say this: wherever bus service is offered, there is a need for more PCV drivers. The entire transport industry is currently undergoing a severe shortage of drivers that will only get worse as older drivers retire.

If you have been considering a career as a professional driver, there is no better time to get started than right now. The HGV Training Centre can offer you the instruction and training you need to become a PCV driver. Once you earn your licence, you can apply for work as a coach or bus driver, driving locally or nationally.

Sources:

  1. BBC – https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-29839181

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