Scotland business

FirstBus referred to Office of Fair Trading by Aberdeen MSP

FirstBus has been referred to the Office of Fair Trading by an Aberdeen MSP.

Kevin Stewart has accused First of taking advantage of its market position and pushing up prices.

The firm, which operates routes in the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire areas, recently increased fares.

But First Aberdeen contested Mr Stewart's claims and said the company did not have a monopoly position in the city.

Mr Stewart has asked the OFT to consider First's market position in Aberdeen and whether it should be referred to the Competition Commission.

'Free to operate'

David Stewart, managing director of First Aberdeen, said: "Another bus operator runs services on most routes.

"Additionally, bus and coach operators are free to operate services wherever they please providing they have permission from the Traffic Commissioner.

"Aberdeen is no different - other bus companies can run services in the city if they wish."

He added: "In terms of the recent fares rise, I can assure customers that we had no plans to increase fares at this time were it not for decisions made by the Scottish government to implement significant cuts to the support it provides bus operators."

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