Transport minister's secret mission to review Comet country buses

THE transport minister has been on the buses this afternoon inspecting Comet country transport. Sidiq Khan took a bus into Hitchin and out to Shefford today (Thursday) as part of a country-wide bus tour examining services across the regions. The south L

THE transport minister has been on the buses this afternoon inspecting Comet country transport.

Sidiq Khan took a bus into Hitchin and out to Shefford today (Thursday) as part of a country-wide bus tour examining services across the regions.

The south London MP, whose father was a bus driver, said: "The thing I'm keen to do is to ride on buses to see the challenges that travellers face. I'm getting to see different bus companies to see how they operate - the idea being that I don't announce myself but just get on. Sitting in a ministerial office in Whitehall you can't get a feel of what's going on.

"There are more people using the buses than since the mid 80s, which is great. But we want to encourage more. One of things that stops them is bad bus stops. I have been disappointed by some of the bus stops in Herts - some are broken and are not very well sheltered. But I was impressed with all the bus drivers."

He said the government were using a carrot and stick approach to bus companies to try to improve services, by offering grants to operators and a 'quality contract' with local authorities, as well as launching a commuter champion which will deal with complaints against operators.

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