On the buses

Somehow the title of an old sitcom seemed appropriate for a good old Losing it[1] mutter about a couple of reports on public transport:

BBC NEWS | England | Bid to attract new bus passengers

Nexus, who used to be called the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive, which was one of those dreadfully old-fashioned name that gave some kind of clue as to what they did, so obviously had to be changed want to start working more closely with private bus operators in order to, well, see if they can actually run services that people can use. Not bad. It’s only been twenty years since the Thatcher government “deregulated” bus services in the UK. Well, not in London, where it was obvious even to those free-market zealots that it would have been a disaster, but for the rest of us…

Bus usage is falling, and Nexus would like to reverse this trend. Well, I can tell you why overall use is going down: buses are a lot more expensive to use than they used to be and many services run at reduced frequencies.

But perhaps there is hope.

BBC NEWS | Politics | Bus deregulation ‘is not working’

A government committee has noticed that the current arrangements are a mess, and the transport secretary has said that local councils will be given more control over services.

It’s a start. At this rate, some time around 2012, someone in government might notice that the privatisation of the railways wasn’t done in an altogether sensible way…