First gets 6 month extension on present contract terms
City of York Council opened a tender process for bus operators to bid for a new contract to manage one of the UK’s most successful Park&Ride services in June.
With over four-million passenger journeys each year, the council was confident the tender would attract a number of high profile bids to continue offering the best possible deal for residents and visitors.
There was speculation that the low emission specification for the required buses, combined with a tight financial expectations, have combined to make the contract unattractive to commercial bus operators. At the moment the Council makes around £100,000 a year in revenue surplus from the service. The scale of the service means that the number of bus companies that could tender is restricted to only the largest operators.
The Council now says, “although there was strong interest in the contract, at this stage of the procurement process no responses meeting the council’s financial expectations against the specification tendered were received.
The council is confident that an operator will be secured in the coming months and following dialogue with a number of bus companies, options for addressing the concerns of potential suppliers will be developed. Subject to Executive approval on 13 October, the results of this review will be brought before the council’s Executive in December, prior to the issue of a further invitation to tender.
The council has negotiated a six month extension to the current contract with First York, whose contract expires at the end of January 2017. This will ensure that residents and visitors experience no changes to the Park&Ride and will continue to receive the same level of service until a new operator is in place.
Executive will be asked to approve this extension at a public meeting on13 October.
Councillors will then be asked to determine which elements of the specification they would wish to alter at December’s Executive. This could include alterations to the frequency of service, type of bus used on the service and fares charged”.
Cllr Ian Gillies, Executive Member for Transport and Planning said: “We’re pleased that this tender received strong interest and we have already approached operators to establish what alterations to the Park&Ride specification might be required to enable them to bid again.
“Whilst it’s disappointing that no compliant responses were received at this stage of the process, we’re confident we will secure a new operator who will work with the authority to provide a service, which will work towards achieving its targets over the length of the contract.”
Executive takes place on Thursday 13 October from 5.30pm and is open to members of the public or is available to watch live online from:www.york.gov.uk/webcasts
To find out more about the report, or to attend, click here
York’s first Park&Ride service started in the late 1970s, operating from two free under utilised car parks just beyond the city walls, catering for peak demand for Christmas shopping and the first permanent Park&Ride site opened in 1990.
Growth in demand is shown below.
- 1990 – 159,690 passengers
- 1995 – 734,150
- 2000 – 1,146,379
- 2005 – 2,625,250
- 2016 – now over four-million passenger journeys each year