Dorset bus contract scrapped over tender error

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Bus stopImage source, Google
Image caption,
The subsidised route connects Dorchester with Blandford

A contract to run a subsidised bus service in Dorset has been withdrawn by the county council after it made a mistake while assessing the tenders.

Dorset County Council awarded the X12/187 service between Blandford and Dorchester to First Hampshire & Dorset.

The new contract, awarded in May, had been due to start on Monday but the tender process must now be re-run.

Current operator Go South Coast will continue to run the existing timetable until the new contract is decided.

Dorset County Council said there had been a "technical inconsistency" in the way it had chosen the winning operator.

Environment councillor Daryl Turner said: "While this delay in awarding the new contract is regrettable, the decision to withdraw and re-tender it is the right one to make sure it fully meets all requirements.

"We would like to thank First Hampshire and Dorset and Go South Coast for their cooperation and understanding.

"The issue was identified before the new service started and we have worked with the operators to make sure there will be no disruption to users of the existing service while the process is being completed."

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