Bus Vannin

Privatise Bus Vannin. The buses will still be needed and still run but will be run by the private sector. The Isle of Man appears to be the only country in Western Europe that owns outright a bus company. There are several companies to approach - Stagecoach, Arriva, Transdev to name just three of the larger ones.

Why the contribution is important

Privatisation will move 100 or so public employees off the books so to speak and there will be sigificant additonal savings over and above the wages and pension bills - fuel, depreciation, capital replacements, back office staff and office space. The list is endless.

by Offshore on April 04, 2017 at 08:49AM

Current Rating

Average score : 2.8
Based on : 18 votes


  • Posted by Gigabyte April 04, 2017 at 20:49

    Privatisation will lead to a bad service and high user costs, with a vicious circle of less usage so less buses and ebpven higher costs.

    Our bus service at present is better and chaper for the user than many other places in the UK - what we should be doing is trying to get more people to use the service, maybe finding ways to discourage private car use for commuting to work and getting more people to go by bus (also cycle and walk, but that is a different matter)

    There are many places in the world that manage to have very effective public transport that is fully utilised, but privatisation as suggested is not the way to do it.
  • Posted by Manxkaz April 04, 2017 at 22:40

    The bus service needs to be more reliable than it is now for people to start using it more. A review of times and routes is also needed.
  • Posted by Steve April 04, 2017 at 23:43

    Agree with Gigabyte. The present service is very good compared with many in the UK - reliable timetable and well maintained vehicles. It has evolved as the best fit for this island and best kept nationalised.
  • Posted by kenmac April 05, 2017 at 13:36

    Yes should be privatised to a company who has to provide buses on certain routes as part of their operating licence, this would prevent them dropping the less profitable routes. The other option is to keep it government run but pay drivers a realistic hourly rate, ie minimum wage, they would still have pension provision which is much more than they would have in the real world.
  • Posted by Andyrew April 05, 2017 at 13:36

    Privatization is not the answer, as a private company has to look after shareholders and shareholders tend not to like loss making rural routes as it affects their dividend. We should look at the perks given to bus vannin staff and their families such as free bus travel, have a flat rate/ circular route in the main towns to encourage people to use the buses.
  • Posted by Kerri April 05, 2017 at 14:30

    As it stands the Bus Service is not acting to the best of it's ability. This is through a shared fault of commuters and Bus Vannin themselves. The best way to repair the service would be to find out where the buses really need to be going and then encourage more people the use it. If there's a significant raise in customers there'll be profit to allow for cheaper fares that can in turn increase the passenger count up to a point.

    Right now I have a 20 minute walk to work after a 40 minute bus ride, I'm disabled to a point where I walk with a stick and I don't have a reliable alternative form of transport. Privatising the bus service will likely make this even worse for me.
  • Posted by hamertime April 05, 2017 at 14:47

    There is absolutely no way to make money off the bus service, there is simply not enough people using it most of the time.

    Such a move would be very short sighted and would inevitably result in us eventually buying it back at a greater cost when all but the heaviest routes are pulled and people can't get to places any more.
  • Posted by TinTin April 05, 2017 at 16:49

    Maybe more minibus sized buses in local areas, feeding bigger busses on longer routes?
  • Posted by Grimreaper April 05, 2017 at 17:51

    Don't destroy what we have! It can be improved, but with certainty that would not be achieved by a private operator.
  • Posted by danots April 06, 2017 at 01:27

    Stop buying so many new busses! Whilst I appreciate wear and tear, we must have the most modern bus / fire engine / ambulance fleet in the world! Constant new busses. Are they needed? Maybe the drivers should take more care, or the roads should have money spent on them before buying more new busses to break on our potholes!
  • Posted by Aadvark April 06, 2017 at 10:54

    Yes it can be improved - and usage of it can certainly be improved - but it is not a bad service and far better and more affordable for the user than in most of UK, so privatisation is the wrong answer: instead, work on ways of getting people out of their cars and into buses, at least for commuting.
  • Posted by Alan April 06, 2017 at 10:59

    I fear that privatisation will lead to fewer services and/or an increase in price. This will particularly impact on people at either end of age spectrum (young/school age) and elderly who, by my observations, are frequent bus users and are the sub-groups in our population with less disposable income.
  • Posted by Neville April 07, 2017 at 09:54

    Alan makes a good point, the young and elderly are the main users of the buses. How about changing the was the buses are paid for so that the people using it pay more for the service they use?
  • Posted by CastletownIOM April 07, 2017 at 12:45

     The Island service is good. And well used. Perhaps if it was made a not for profit company and arms length from Government, they could be more proactive initiative in their approach and service.
  • Posted by George April 10, 2017 at 14:33

    Most of the buses I see are empty/ under utilized - they need to reevaluate the routes/timings to make them better. There are so many buses going through Onchan empty. They've set up one that goes from Onchan to the airport - why not Onchan to Peel to save people getting two buses?
  • Posted by Offshore April 11, 2017 at 14:11

    The point I was trying to make wasn't one that the service is bad, it isn't - like most things it could do with some adjustments and improvements in areas. What I was clumsily trying to suggest was that the service loses millions a year apparently and that removing the wage costs and running costs from the taxpayer would deliver a big saving and large percentage of the £25M target and yet the buses, with some Statutory control and oversight would still run. Some good ideas here - minibuses etc and removing free family travel etc.
  • Posted by dpfellows April 11, 2017 at 21:43

    Offshore you are correct to raise this and it should be included on any cost savings agenda along with the privatisation of Airport operations. If you don't investigate options to remove large taxpayer subsidies from loss making operations why continue with this exercise?

  • Posted by ninjadispenser April 12, 2017 at 01:49

    I have said about a Park and ride service to reduce the car congestion from workers in town which the Bus Vannin could run at peak times.Less cars in Douglas and profit for the bus company.Think a lot of shoppers would use it too with the parking nightmare that Douglas is now.
  • Posted by madeleine April 16, 2017 at 21:43

    The buses do run well despite the management! There are large savings to be made if they stop spending money like water on capital items such as more and more buses and more ticket machines at £400k every couple of years. New management with a remit to provide a decent, affordable service. Allow the buses to charge all users a minimum 50% of the full fare and pay wages that are in line with UK rates of pay. Give them three years to break even or sell the lot!
  • Posted by madeleine April 25, 2017 at 23:39

    This comment has been removed by a moderator.

  • Posted by Manneen May 08, 2017 at 09:34

    Increase usage. People would use the buses more if the costs were lower. A zoned system of pricing could work with Zones costing 50 p. This would encourage people to use the buses. If buses were fuller then overall their would be more income, less cars , less road maintenance more demand and a better bus service.
  • Posted by StiltonMan May 14, 2017 at 22:21

    reduce number of double deckers and increase the number of smaller minibus type buses. Be smarter about the use of the buses. Peak time - use the larger buses, off peak quiet times use the mini buses.
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