Buses: they've let us all down

27 August 2014

Bitterwallet - new Routemaster buses According to a think tank, it isn't a great life on the buses as passengers have been continually let down by a lack of competition and a failure of deregulation.

Despite being privatised back in 1986, buses outside of London were deregulated, but those inside of the London remained subject to regulation. According to the IPPR (Institute for Public Policy Research) report, it claimed that Transport for London's regulation had been a success, elsewhere the whole thing had been a bit of a failure.

One in eight of working Brits relied on getting the bus into work, and also that people made three times the trips on the bus than the train, which worked out over five billion a year.

It also pointed out that the poorest used the bus more, but that fares outside of London had risen by more than 35% above inflation between 1995 and 2013.

The report also recommended the creation of local transport bodies modelled on TfL .

IPPR associate director Will Straw said: "London has the best buses in Britain and that's no accident. TfL has been a great success while the deregulation of buses outside London has largely failed."

"Outside London, bus passenger journeys are down and fares are rising higher than inflation. Examples of successful bus markets outside London are all too rare so local transport bodies should be given greater powers to hold uncompetitive providers to account."

"As well as regulating bus services, routes and fares, these new bodies should have a wider role of encouraging better integration between buses and other modes of transport including rail."

"This will help increase the number of passengers using public transport. Responsibility for transport related to schools and hospitals should be devolved to these regional transport bodies with any savings made from achieving efficiencies retained and reinvested in other local sustainable transport projects."

He goes on a bit, but you get the gist.

We all know catching the bus is a nightmare (as night follows day), but what can be done to fix the situation? And no, dear readers, killing annoying or smelly people isn't a viable solution.

TOPICS:   Travel


  • Jessie J.
    I think that what's needed are more annoying and smelly people travelling on buses. That way the trains are left for all the important twats in suits.
  • Sawyer
    Surely the answer is to copy London. None of this is rocket science. Examples: - Contactless payments instead of having to faff about with coins - Train-style announcements and displays to tell you the name of the next stop, which is pretty essential for any journey through an unfamiliar area. - Live displays at bus stops to tell you what time the goddamn bus will arrive. But of course that's all far too sensible.
  • an c.
    Well in my town the bus service is designed for oaps and the unemployed. The 1st bus anywhere near my house is at 9:30 am and the last one back from town is at 17.05. Thus stopping anyone who works from catching any.....
  • Frank
    Bus wankers
  • Aelynn
    It's a vicious circle. We used to have a bus service in the area. This is a rural area where there are no facilities like a post office, shops, bank, doctor's, etc within 4 miles +, so you'd assume buses would be a lifeline. Unfortunately, the schedule was useless for working people (9-5 hourly, just like mentioned above) and it was very rarely on time, if it ran at all. To make things interesting, going into town it would run via one village, and on the way back, it would run through another village. So you could never use the same bus stop for inward/outward journeys, meaning adding a 40 mins walk to/from whichever stop you could get to. Then, they raised the price of journeys for people in the "outskirts", i.e. beyond a certain stop, suddenly the price spiked. It's no wonder people stopped using it altogether as it was so pricey, inconvenient and unreliable. So the council announced it couldn't afford to run the service anymore.
  • Whisky
    I caught the bus last month for the first time in years to travel to the next town along for a little drinky. Apparently I am not allowed to operate a car whilst "drunk". I came to a swift conclusion; buses are completely shit. It costs more then the diesel would in the car and it takes 4 times as long to get somewhere. For some reason instead of just going to the next town it goes out of its way to call at every fucking village where nobody gets on or off the bus. If there were 4 of you going it would be far cheaper to get a taxi. The fare should be 50p not £5. And for £5 I don't want to sit in a piss soaked tin can with a bunch of smelly freaks. I want a BJ from an Eastern European.
  • Pie M.
    "Surely the answer is to copy London. " That is *never* the answer.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment