The 1980 Transport Act introduced important changes in licence requirements for express coach services. The effects of the changes have been monitored using data drawn from notifications provided by Traffic Area offices, together with service details provided by operators; the results of a three year review are summarised in the report. After a period of active initiation of services and some failures, the notification pattern appears to have stabilised. The decline in coaching operations in the years before the Act has been reversed and the number of all-year services is estimated to be about 20 per cent greater than immediately before the Act. Return fares on the new express services run by private operators are on average about 15 per cent less in money terms than the corresponding cheapest National Bus Company (NBC) fares in 1980. NBC also reduced fares, most markedly on daily long distance services where 20 per cent savings in money terms have been recorded. Competition from British Rail has also intensified significantly, although rail fares generally remain substantially more expensive than corresponding coach fares. Comment is made in the report on competition, coach terminals and the mean speeds of the various services. (A)

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