Not fair claim as bus info row breaks out

David Umpleby with one of the buses which are running along the Promenade as part of a new service by Classic Bus North West.

David Umpleby with one of the buses which are running along the Promenade as part of a new service by Classic Bus North West.

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BUS wars have broken out amid claims Blackpool Transport has refused to display timetable information from a rival operator.

Classic Bus North West says the council-owned bus company has repeatedly turned down its request for full details of its number 12 service along the Promenade to be featured at stops.

Philip Higgs, boss of Classic Bus North West, accused Blackpool Transport of being ‘anti-competitive.’

But Blackpool Transport denied the claim and said all operators were given equal space on bus stops.

Mr Higgs said: “Blackpool Transport has put up their own version of our timetable last week, nearly two months after we started our service, but still refuses to put stickers on bus stops.

“The new information shows only the times at each stop – no other information such as fares, day ticket offers, route map, our company’s contact details – all the kinds of information that are provided on the tram stops and the kind of information that tourists to Blackpool would expect to want to know.

“We believe Blackpool Transport’s actions are anti-competitive.”

But Bob Mason, director of delivery at Blackpool Transport, said: “Blackpool Transport are not refusing to put any information on bus stops.

“We are the agent on behalf of Blackpool Council.

“All operators’ information is shown in the same format, so the public can easily understand the times from each stop.

“Therefore, no operators have any competitive advantage over each other. All operators including Blackpool Transport, Stagecoach North West, Cumfy Bus and Coastal Coaches all have the same size bus stop stickers.

“If Classic Bus North West supply them to Blackpool Council in the correct size and format we will as the agent to the council be more than happy to fit them as we do with all the above named operators.”