This research examines the effects of the Transport Act 1985 in areas outside the conurbations (ie those without Passenger Transport Executives). There was considerable variation between areas in public transport provision and in the cost of subsidies both before and after bus deregulation in 1986, and in the changes which occurred in that year. These variations are analysed to determine the extent to which they are related to underlying geographic and demographic statistics, and other factors like car ownership, types and numbers of bus operators, political attitudes of local authorities and the methods employed for discharging their public transport functions. Overall, this research confirms the results of earlier TRRL work, based on provisional information. Analysis of current trends indicates that although costs of subsidising bus services have risen since deregulation, they are likely to remain at below pre-deregulation levels, at least in the short term. (A)

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