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Bus and Coach Operators Market Report
Key Note Publications Ltd, January 2001
The British bus and coach services market (including government support) grew by 4.7% in 1999/2000, to a value of £4.67bn. Passenger receipts accounted for 77.1% of the market, or 86.6% if concessionary fare reimbursement is taken into account.
The main sector of the bus and coach services market is local bus services, with 63% of passenger receipts (excluding concessionary fare reimbursement) in 1999/2000, compared with 37% for non-local services. Since 1995/1996, the number of passengers carried has risen in London and the Shire counties, but has fallen in all other areas of Great Britain. The market for non-local services is growing at a faster rate than the market for local services in value terms. Buses are the most popular form of public transport.
Deregulation and privatisation of the bus industry has led to rationalisation and a period of consolidation. The top five operators - FirstGroup PLC, Arriva PLC, Stagecoach Holdings PLC, The Go-Ahead Group PLC and the National Express Group PLC - account for an estimated 69% share of the local bus service market.
The main development in the local bus market has been Quality Partnerships between bus operators and local authorities. Normally, these involve an agreement that the bus operator will improve the quality of its bus services in return for improvements to the public transport infrastructure. In many cases, these schemes have increased passenger demand.
The development of the bus and coach services market in Great Britain is largely dependent on the successful development of local transport plans, with bus strategies that include Quality Partnerships. The Government's commitment to its 10-year transport plan, which targets growth in bus use, may have been reinforced by a new term in office.