Extending Guernsey bus contract 'saves money'

Guernsey buses at the St Peter Port terminus
Image caption Deputy Roger Domaille said the service had improved

Extending Guernsey's current public bus service contract avoids wasting taxpayers' money, according to the island's environment minister.

CT Plus signed a two-year deal which was due to end on 31 March 2014 - but has been extended until March 2015.

Deputy Roger Domaille said any long-term decisions could only be made once the transport strategy had been agreed.

He said with this due to be discussed in April introducing a different operator would be a waste of money.

Deputy Domaille said the one-year extension avoided spending time and resources on the tendering process and any handover if a different operator was chosen.

In the past year, the company has been dogged by strike action by staff over pay and conditions along with complaints from passengers about a lack of reliability and the introduction of a new timetable.

Deputy Domaille said since a recovery package had been agreed between the department and CT Plus in the summer, the number of complaints had "dropped dramatically" and the service "much improved".

Tendering for a contract to run from April 2015 is already under way, he added, with companies asked to register an interest.

The formal process will begin after the transport strategy had been debated.

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