North West Geography
Volume 7, Number 2, 2007
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This paper examines whether the system of deregulated bus services operating in Great Britain outside London is able to deliver the growth in bus usage required by Gateway Cities to underpin their economic development and specified in the Government’s Ten Year Transport Plan in 2000. It examines the deregulated bus market at four geographic levels: national, county, district and bus corridor and finds that market dominance (above 40% market share) and near-monopoly control (above 66.7% market share) by individual bus companies are more prevalent the more local the geographic scale. Analysis of bus markets at bus corridor level in Greater Manchester and Merseyside equates closely with the regular travel patterns of most bus passengers. Evidence is produced to show that at this very local level the deregulated bus system yields little choice and competition and does not generate the conditions for increasing bus usage in Gateway Cities.