LABOUR'S former Scottish leader, Iain Gray, has proposed legislation giving councils greater control over when and where bus services operate, three years after a similar attempt was rejected by MSPs.

A private members' bill launched by the East Lothian MSP would impose greater regulation of the industry by forcing firms to bid for contracts drawn up by local authorities which include lucrative routes and loss-making routes deemed socially necessary.

The regime would prevent firms hiking up fares where there is no competition or pulling out of remote areas, its advocates argue.

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But it has faced fierce resistance from the bus industry, which believes it will simply impose greater bureaucracy and cost.