Are statutory passenger watchdogs effective in representing passenger interests in public transport?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, mode - bus, organisation - regulation


Passenger watchdogs, Public transport, Passenger interests, Bus services, Great Britain, STO framework


In recent years, concerns over effective consumer representation of public transport users have increased considerably, as public transport has undergone substantial regulatory reforms. The ultimate goal of deregulation is to protect and benefit the public at large. Hence, this paper explores how this goal is being pursued by examining the roles of statutory, independent passenger watchdogs and their relationships with authorities and operators in regulated and deregulated bus regimes. Drawing on a case study of London TravelWatch and Transport Focus in Great Britain, our findings show that statutory passenger watchdogs are effective in representing passenger interests due to four factors in particular: the organizational setting, research-based evidence, accommodating relationships, and public outreach. The paper also documents the differences in how these passenger watchdogs build their relationships with key stakeholders and work with them within the strategic-tactical-operational framework.


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


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