Transformation of the British local bus industry and, in fact, all local transport was fostered by the British Government in its 1985 Transport Act. The aim is to privatize and increase competition in a bid to replace public expenditure. This involves deregulation of local service through removal of control over individual routes and a break-up of organizations and coordination schemes. All this continues deregulation as set in motion by the 1980 Transport Act which deregulated intercity services and permitted similar trials by local authorities in designated areas. While a Parliamentary committee had recommended against local deregulation, the Administration goal has been to lower the level of responsibility from metropolitan and county organizations to local authorities. The aim would be to reduce areawide support for services, instead concentrating attention on specific local routes which would have to be offered for private contract. Displacement of metropolitan area planning by the free market forces is the primary aim. This paper examines the relationship between unit costs and subsidies, the evaluation of costs and benefits of subsidies, and the role of public transit in local economies. In discussing unit costs in Britain, it is noted that the Government White Paper deals exclusively in real costs per bus mile, even though operating conditions and other factors differ. It is the White Paper position that subsidy results in higher operating costs since it fosters poor management and high wage rates. The author concludes that there has been a lack of concern about how the new policies will affect local economies and communities, and a lack of definition of real performance indicators.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Proceedings of the 26th Annual Meeting, Theme: Markets and Management in an Era of Deregulation, held November 13-15, 1985, Amelia Island Plantation, Jacksonville, Florida.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Forum

    1133 15th Street, NW, Suite 620
    Washington, DC  United States  20005

    Cross (Richard B) Company

    Oxford, Indiana,   United States  47971
  • Authors:
    • Turner, R
  • Publication Date: 1985

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00455117
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 31 1988 12:00AM