Gathering widespread support for better public transport

25 April 2012  •  Author(s): Stephen Joseph OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Campaign for Better Transport

The ‘British experiment’ with public transport has been watched by many in Europe – some with envy, some with a kind of horrified fascination. Deregulation and privatisation of the public transport market has gone further than in any other country – buses outside London were completely deregulated in the 1980s, and the railways privatised in the 1990s.

The results have been – to put it kindly – mixed. Public transport subsidies were reduced, at least initially, and lots of new services arrived. It is also worth saying that rail freight has flourished in the new environment, and has grown even during the recession. But for urban public transport, the results have been very varied.

The railways have seen huge growth in patronage – more people are now travelling by train than at any time for nearly 100 years. Railway companies sometimes argue that this is down to their commercial flair – others argue that there are underlying economic reasons for this growth, with road congestion, high oil prices, planning laws and economic restructuring with more city centre develop – ment in financial services.

The rest of this content is restricted to logged-in subscribers. Login or register (it's free!) to view the full content.

Leave a reply