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Was D-Reg pointless?
Was D-Reg pointless?
As we are now 30 years into the time since the de-regulation of bus services I wonder if anyone like me thinks that the reasons for it have backfired.

It was supposedly done to increase competition and give passengers a choice of operators and fares with company's vying with each other and supposedly offering lower fares in the process. Operators were privatised and in some cases split up as they were deemed too big and would have too much of an advantage in this new market.

The competition did occur for a good while but we really have a situation now in which we have operators that are much bigger now that what we had prior to this. Arriva and Stagecoach are surely bigger than the PTE's and the NBC's back in the day. And surely taking we have higher fares now than we had then taking into account inflation of course.

It was supposedly done for the good of the passenger but really it was another exercise of Thatcher to rid the government of costs that help the low paid and vulnerable.
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RE: Was D-Reg pointless?
The first few years were interesting with new routes/links but as the major groups have gained a stranglehold on the industry, we are now just down to the major corridors. I believe if some of these ideas had been given time to prove themselves, they could have been profitable and quite longstanding but given the nature of constant chopping and changing of timetable/routes, passengers were denied the confidence of whether a route was there from one day to the next. The whole thing I believe was pure right wing ideology which continued later into the Rail industry especially in the case of East Coast which has had 2 failed operators from the Private sector and was returning quite a healthy profit back to the Treasury but no it had to be re-privatised.
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RE: Was D-Reg pointless?
Two big ironies stood out in Greater Manchester. Firstly, many ex-GMPTE Atlanteans and Fleetlines were sold upon deregulation, and quite a few landed in the hands of companies who provided competition with GMB. Secondly, the government in 1993 insisted that GMB split as it was deemed too big to encourage and maintain competition. Whereas GMB had just under 2000 buses, their successors First and Stagecoach own approximately 7000 and 8000 buses across the country respectively. They are therefore bigger giants than an independent GMB Ltd would have been. (Admittedly we will never know whether a unified "GMB Ltd" would have been taken over by a bus giant itself).
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RE: Was D-Reg pointless?
It is interesting that while GM was forced to split, a similar sized West Midlands fleet was allowed to stay as one.
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RE: Was D-Reg pointless?
(18/09/2016 17:07)Dentonian Wrote:  .... Prejudiced law (un)enforcement, where offences detering bus use/access, such as stop blocking and pavement cycling go completely un-punished....

This part absolutely drives me mad how bus lanes, double yellow lines, bus stops are parked on or driven in by everyone and anyone, (often minicabs parked illegally but not just them) - Lots of generally very bad driving by car drivers, erratic lane changes when overtaking buses not looking what is coming the other way, continuing to overtake a bus well after it has indicated to pull out, cars speeding etc etc etc

Not sure if this would be different with deregulation or not but it does need to be addressed as a lot of motorists seem to have absolutely no respect for buses or bus priorities.

buses7675
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RE: Was D-Reg pointless?
Transport policy seems to have gone full circle with some form of reregulation in one guise or another on the cards .

I saw the absolute chaos deregualtion caused to Merseybus and Crosville here on the Wirral when neither operator had enough drivers to fulfil there obligations they had registered as services , it was demoralising as a customer to be waiting an hour for a service that was supposed to run every 15 minutes , it was a lottery of sorts. I dont know whether in 1986 it was the same in Greater Manchester.
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RE: Was D-Reg pointless?
That was when the conurbation was severely over bussed .
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RE: Was D-Reg pointless?
Personally, I think de-reg was about 95% disastrous. A few very busy routes benefitted by getting more frequent services. (Although in some areas, this initially involved the use of bread-van sized minibuses that were too small for the number of passengers wishing to travel.)

Most other routes have seen less frequent services, and often the loss of evening & Sunday + Bank Holiday services. Interference by the "pro-competition commissars" often prevented many bus companies from coordinating services & fares policy, making buses less attractive for passengers (although PTE areas seem to have been able to avoid the worst effects of that policy.

Restricting the ability to cross-subsidise routes led to some routes being put out to "lowest tender", sometimes getting good operators - but all too often getting "less reliable" operators. And, as a further result of tory policy, cash-starved local authorities are now cutting the number of routes they can subsidise.
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RE: Was D-Reg pointless?
(19/09/2016 13:13)buses7675 Wrote:  This part absolutely drives me mad how bus lanes, double yellow lines, bus stops are parked on or driven in by everyone and anyone, (often minicabs parked illegally but not just them) - Lots of generally very bad driving by car drivers, erratic lane changes when overtaking buses not looking what is coming the other way, continuing to overtake a bus well after it has indicated to pull out, cars speeding etc etc etc

Not sure if this would be different with deregulation or not but it does need to be addressed as a lot of motorists seem to have absolutely no respect for buses or bus priorities.

What and all bus drivers drive perfectly do they? Come on.

As a bus enthusiast/passenger and a car driver I reckon the standards of bus driving generally are pretty low yes not all drivers are bad but a lot leave a lot to be desired. Only this morning driving to work at 6am I was stuck behind a bus clearly early doing 10mph on a 40 road, left indicator on for the entire journey except when he/she was actually pulling into a stop then they choose not to indicate at all.
You've got councils that as you say fail to penalise drivers for blocking bus stops etc yet install bus lane cameras to catch motorists out then rake in thousands of pounds a month.

In the town where I live they have recently installed cycle lanes through the town centre so some sets of traffic lights instruct motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. These are controlled by TFGM but in thier wisdom carnt even get a simple thing like co-ordinating two sets of lights within yards of each other to be on green at the same time so the result at rush hour is 2 vehiches get through the rest get stuck blocking trams from leaving or entering the town centre.

I don't think motorists hate buses, I think they dislike the fact public transport seems to take priority and motorists always seem to get penalised.
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RE: Was D-Reg pointless?
My own thoughts on this are that in the early days yes it was chaotic but it worked. There was compititon, yes there were cowboys but as a teenager living on the outskirts of Manchester, if I was going into town I had the choice of several operators all offering very low fares.
But I do agree with other comments that it seems to have gone full circle and were kind of at a stalemate in that some towns become virtually cut off after 7pm.

There seemed to be a lot of things that wernt thought through before de-reg, a lot of loopholes that operators exploited -and still do, just look at UK North in Manchester and more recently GHA.
Could it be argued that the transport act it's self meant that de-reg wouldn't work. You have the situation in a lot of areas where big operators run frequent daytime and Saturday services but after 6/7pm and on Sundays where once there was maybe an hourly or half hourly subsidised service, due to budget cuts there starting to disappear and the operators are bound not to run anything commercially because the transport act stipulates that each journey on a commercially registered service must turn a profit. I'm
Certain this didn't happen with some operators seemingly running carrying fresh air.
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