Title

DEREGULATION AND PRIVATIZATION: THE BRITISH LOCAL BUS INDUSTRY FOLLOWING THE TRANSPORT ACT 1985.

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1996

Subject Area

organisation - regulation, organisation - privatisation, mode - bus

Keywords

United Kingdom, Great Britain, Deregulation, Bus lines

Abstract

In the U.K., increasing attention is being given by policy makers to shift modal split from private to public transport. This is a response to increasing concerns about the environmental effects of the private car and increasing public opposition to further road building. A great deal of reliance is being placed on bus services to accommodate such a change in modal split. The Transport Act 1985 imposed three main changes on local bus services: deregulation, involving the removal of barriers to providing local bus services, the transfer to the private sector of publicly-owned bus companies, and competitive tendering whereby local authorities were given powers to fund socially necessary but unprofitable services by tendering routes to bus companies. The author argues that these changes have had a number of adverse effects and have left bus services even less likely to meet the expectations being placed on them than previously. Suggestions for change are discussed bearing in mind the political realities of the environment in which local public transport has to operate. The question of how far such changes could contribute to a shift in modal split is analysed.