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CHESTER CRIES FOUL AS BUS FIRM MUSCLES IN ON EXISTING ROUTES

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Chester City Council has asked the High Court to stop what it claims is a rival's attempt to wreck the planned sale...
Chester City Council has asked the High Court to stop what it claims is a rival's attempt to wreck the planned sale of its bus operator.

The council put Chester City Transport, which trades as Chesterbus, on the market in the summer because it could not afford to invest in the 78-strong fleet.

However, as Arriva North West & Wales plans to run buses that will mimic Chesterbus' routes and timetables, the council fears Chesterbus could be driven out of business before it is sold.

Chester has launched proceedings under the Competition Act 1998, asking for a court order to stop Arriva.

This is 'on the basis Arriva is using its financial strength and market dominance to engage in anti-competitive action [by] proposing to flood Chester with loss-making bus services in order to undermine the proposed sale'.

Leader Paul Roberts (Lib Dem) said: 'We simply cannot allow such bullying tactics to go unchallenged.'

However, Arriva North West & Wales managing director, Bob Hind said: 'Their allegations against us are unfounded and inaccurate.

'We have made it very clear that our intentions were not to disrupt the market, but to create a seamless transfer.'

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