Go-Ahead to install CCTV on bus fleet

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The Independent Online

The bus and rail group Go-Ahead is to install CCTV cameras in its entire fleet of buses after discovering that the equipment pays for itself by deterring bogus compensation claims from passengers and other road users.

The bus and rail group Go-Ahead is to install CCTV cameras in its entire fleet of buses after discovering that the equipment pays for itself by deterring bogus compensation claims from passengers and other road users.

The cost of the exercise is likely to reach about £7.5m and will see all 2,500 Go-Ahead buses fitted with the equipment over the next few years. The group is one of the biggest bus operators in the country with services in London, Brighton, Oxford and the North-east.

Chris Moyes, Go-Ahead's deputy chief executive, stressed that the main reason for fitting CCTV was for the protection of crew and passengers. But he said the ability to use the footage to root out vexatious claims was an added bonus. "It is a shame that we have to go these lengths but it is a reflection of today's compensation culture," he said.

The group, which last month took over the South Central rail franchise from Connex on a 20-year contract after agreeing to invest £560m in new trains and £750m on infrastructure improvements, said it was ready to negotiate short-term extensions with the Strategic Rail Authority to its two existing rail businesses, Thameslink and Thames Trains.

Pre-tax profits for the year to the end of June rose 9 per cent to £44m and would have been £6m higher but for the cost of the defence against a hostile bid from C3D of France. Passenger numbers rose by 6 per cent, half the level they would have grown by had it not been for post-Hatfield disruption, but Go-Ahead was fully compensated by Railtrack.

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