Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Redressing the balance. A bit

I'd hate for people to get the impression I'm only ever critical. Today, proposals have been laid out to overhaul the bus 'system'. The article I've linked to there points out that the proposals stop short of the full regulation that there is in London, but it is a start. Bigger companies (and I'd be a fool to be the First to point the finger) can flex their muscles at present to force smaller ones out by flooding routes. It's not a service - less well-used routes are neglected as they don't generate enough revenue - which public transport really ought to be. This should be an opportunity to give the public that use buses more of a say in when and where they're run rather than the balance sheet being the driving factor.
We're lucky in West Yorkshire as we have a fairly strong passenger transport executive. The article I linked to mentions York where no such thing exists and it is an utter farce. Routes and timetables were changed every week or two when I lived there (and that's a long time since now) and nothing much has changed. I really hope this goes some way to change things. Sheffield, too, has long been held up as a 'shining' example of deregulation in action. It'll be interesting to see what, if any, difference this makes.

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