The 1985 Transport Act deregulated the bus industry in Great Britain. The provisions of the Act included various measures aimed at encouraging small companies to run bus services and enabling bus companies to compete with each other. TRRL carried out a comprehensive programme of work to monitor the effects of the Act including case studies of the local effects of changes in services. This report focusses on competition in the Stockton-on-Tees area between two established operators, Cleveland Transit and United Automobile Services, and three independent operators: Trimdon Motor Services, Delta Taxis and G J Robson who had little or no experience of running regular town services before deregulation. Monitoring in the area began in October 1986 shortly before deregulation and continued for just over a year. The report describes the progress of competition including changes in services, patronage, service quality and passenger attitudes. A year after deregulation the level of service had almost doubled. Patronage had increased by slightly more than expected at one site in the town and slightly less than expected at the other site, given the change in services. In May 1988, when monitoring by TRRL ended, all five companies continued to operate. (A)

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