Converging structures? Recent regulatory change in bus-based local public transport in Sweden and England

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, mode - bus, organisation - contracting, organisation - regulation


Quality, Partnership, Regulation, Contract, Sweden, England


This paper compares the regulatory structures that have developed in local bus regulation over the past 20 years in local public transport in Sweden and England outside London, and their impacts. The paper will attempt to assess how far there are similarities in these structures and whether there is evidence of any form of convergence. It does so with a review of the relevant legislation and structures, and their effects, based on the published and grey literature in the two countries. It uses a theory of the regulatory cycle (based on Needham, 1983) to theorise the relative regulatory positions of the two countries. It pays particular attention to the development of types of cooperative or partnership contract between the public and private sectors in local bus transport in the two countries, and assesses the similarities and differences between these two contracts. It concludes that, whilst the two countries may be at different points on the regulatory cycle, and therefore that in regulatory terms these partnership contracts are the result of very different pressures, in fact they are resulting in some similarities, though not in any way a regulatory convergence.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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