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Call to replicate London’s buses

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City regions need bus networks similar to London’s relatively cheap and stable services if they want to cut car use, a report for the Passenger Transport Executive Group (PTEG) has found.

Peter White, professor of public transport systems at the University of Westminster, said simple, frequent and stable bus networks could trigger a revival in city region public transport.

Transport for London, part of the Greater London Authority, specifies operators’ routes, fares and frequencies, which rarely change and so can be easily grasped by the public. There is also a comprehensive off-peak service.

Elsewhere, councils have minimal influence over buses, although the Local Transport Bill, now before parliament, will open the possibility of London-style networks.

Since 1995, annual bus journeys in London have increased from 1.1 to 1.9 billion, but in the metropolitan areas represented by PTEG they fell from 1.3 to 1.1 billion.

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