Bus Services at Risk Due to EU and UK Government Regulation says IEA Author John Hibbs

Professor John Hibbs, one of the architects of bus de-regulation sets out the dangers of re-regulation

A new study published today by the IEA* suggests that re-regulation of the bus industry following the Transport Act 2000 is putting bus services at risk.

By empowering local authorities to award ‘quality contracts’ to bus companies, the Act is producing a ‘franchising’ system where bus companies compete for a monopoly of providing the service on a particular route. This replicates the mechanism that has proved so controversial on the railways and undermines the principle of competition introduced by the Transport Act 1985 that has resulted in improvements in quality and reliability of service in many areas that could not have been envisaged before the Act.

EU Directives are also