In advance of the service registration becoming effective next week, the 99P bus service (operated by Midland General, part of Wellglade) between Nottingham and Cotgrave starts operation from today, using a legitimate loop-hole by operating free of charge.
The 99P represents the first major retaliatory action taken by Wellglade to retain market share over the routes on which Premiere have decided to compete. The next few months should be an interesting time for observers, especially with the upcoming Red4 also directly aimed at competing with TrentBarton’s well known, and frequent Rainbow4.
Post-deregulation, there were many such bus wars, but going into the 21st Century, the rise of free travel for pensioners and the stabilisation of many larger bus groups resulted in the decline of the “bus war”. Recent examples have been short-lived, and unsuccessful, resulting in the routes competed on simply returning to their pre-competitive state. Whether this is the case in Cotgrave remains to be seen.