Cambridgeshire CC has alerted police to allegations of impropriety involving local community transport services.
The council had received a file of documents alleging that officials had favoured community transport schemes, giving them an unfair commercial advantage over other providers.
The Cambridgeshire Bus, Coach and Taxi Association had employed a private investigator as part of a three-year campaign to highlight what it reportedly saw as ‘the unfairness of the way county council transport contracts are awarded to community transport groups’.
It also made claims about the training of drivers and the type of licences they hold.
A Cambridgeshire spokesman said: ‘The council received a pack of information from the Cambridgeshire Bus, Coach and Taxi Association (CBCT) making various allegations.
‘This is something we take very seriously and are currently talking to partners to consider how best to investigate the claims. We have also made the Police aware of the documents given the serious nature of some of the allegations.’
He added: ‘In addition we are looking at the claims about what training and licences drivers should have. This is a complex issue and while we are following the lead of other councils in how we deal with this, we are asking the Department for Transport for clarification. We will then take the appropriate action if anything changes as a result of this clarification.’
The organisations involved were Fenland Association for Community Transport (FACT) Ely and Soham Community Transport (ESACT) and Huntingdonshire Association for Community Transport (HACT).
A spokesperson for HACT said: ‘The allegations made about FACT, HACT & ESACT (local Community Transport Operators) in a recent report handed to Cambridgeshire County Council by the Cambridgeshire Bus, Coach and Taxi Association about its officers, members and drivers are refuted and unequivocally denied.
‘It would be inappropriate to comment any further at this point whilst Cambridgeshire County Council undertake a review of the reported allegations. FACT, HACT & ESACT will use their best endeavours to assist with any enquiry into the essential Community Transport Service they provide to their members in the Cambridgeshire area’
Community transport can be defined as transport services for people with disabilities, people who are socially deprived and people experiencing social isolation, as well as services intended to support community cohesion.