The OFT has invited comments on bus company FirstGroup’s request for a variation to its north-east fare zone boundary. As a result of FirstGroup’s acquisition of SB Holdings in 2002, numerous undertakings were agreed with the Secretary of State and subsequently amended by the CC in 2008. In particular, these undertakings prevent FirstGroup from changing the terms and conditions of bus services and also from altering the fares or fare boundaries without the prior written consent of the OFT.

FirstGroup has sought the consent of the OFT to re-align the north east boundary of its FirstCard multi ticket in order to provide consistency in the zones FirstGroup intends to introduce for its FirstDay and FirstWeek tickets. FirstGroup is also seeking to ensure consistent pricing of the FirstCard in relation to the services provided.