The number of postbus services operating in the UK expanded considerably during the mid-1970s, but a number of introductions has subsequently diminished. This report describes a theoretical study of the way in which the potential for postbus development is influenced by the Post Office criteria for services and by other related factors. The study concentrates on the extent to which existing mail arrangements are, or could be, suitable for passenger carrying. Postal vehicle movements at three selected sites within the South Eastern Postal Region were considered, and it was found that, in theory, 21 of a sample of 29 individual local areas could be served by a postbus with either no changes, or only minor alterations, to existing mail arrangements. Costing of some of the theoretical possibilities reaffirmed that the postbus can be one way of providing a basic rural public transport service at reasonable cost. Of the other factors influencing developments, low demands and staffing considerations are not thought to be major inhibitors, more important are the requirement of the Post Office to avoid competition with other public transport operators, and institutional factors related to funding provision and to Post Office terms of reference in this field. (A)

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