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29.8.14

PUBLIC TRANSPORT * UK: Desregulation failure

* England - Bus deregulation outside London has been a failure – thinktank report 

(Photograph: Simmisimons/Getty Images/Vetta: The IPPR thinktank argues bus deregulation has failed because outside London bus passenger journeys have fallen and fares are rising faster than inflation)
 London,EN,UK -The Guardian, by Rebecca Smithers -26 August 2014: -- Millions of bus passengers who rely on services outside London have been let down by a lack of competition and the failure of deregulation, a report warns. They include the poorest fifth of all households, who cannot afford cars and yet who end up taking more taxi journeys each year than any other income group because of the unreliability and high fares of their local buses... Bus passenger journeys outside London have fallen by 32.5% since 1986, but within the capital they have risen by 99%... It is nearly 30 years since local bus services in Britain were deregulated by the Conservatives under the Transport Act 1985 to revive the flagging fortunes of an industry in decline. It was believed that by encouraging and opening up competition, services would improve, fares would fall and cross-subsidies would be removed... But the IPPR says the policy has largely failed because outside London bus passenger journeys have fallen and fares are rising faster than inflation. One in eight people working in Britain rely on a bus to get to work, the report points out, with passengers making more than three times as many bus journeys as rail journeys – more than 5bn each year...

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