This report describes the developments in bus service provision between 1985 and early 1987, in the Lancashire area which covers the districts of Blackburn, Hynburn and the Ribble valley. Apart from two urban areas it is largely rural. Comparisons of the bus network both before and after deregulation are made. The following conclusions are drawn: a) deregulation has not significantly altered the level of service. This is partly due to the proportion of services registered commercially and is also a consequence of Lancashire County Councils' policy of maintaining the pre-deregulation network; b) very few new services have been introduced and little direct competition has emerged; c) the tendering process has produced a relatively low response; d) innovation has been restricted to minibus operations; e) the cost and benefits of deregulation are shared and in some cases transferred between agencies. For example: 1) fares have not changed much but difficulties have arisen over concessionary and prepared fare schemes; 2) operators have cut costs in some areas such as wages, but administration costs have increased for some companies 3) Lancashire County Council has reduced its direct payment to operators via the tendering process but has increased expenditure on publicity and monitoring; 4) Central government has provided additional resources in the form of the rural bus grant.

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