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Privatisation consequences for planning

With a few exceptions including London, bus planning in Britain is now largely in private hands. Good private planning can be better than poor public planning. But private bus planning geared to short term profits is unlikely to serve the best long term interests of the city.

The problem becomes starkly obvious when trying to plan for new urban developments. Development patterns and forms should be planned to focus on public transport stops, but without control of the bus operation, or even certainty as to who the operator might be, this is next to impossible. Without the certainty of the availability or quality of the public transport offer, developers can be forgiven for being cautious and opting for full car provision for their housing and other projects.

Data loss

Good data are essential to good planning. If public transport is in private hands, data is lost to the public interest, unless the operator agrees to cooperate.  Data may be released to individual transport authorities, but usually on the condition that this is not made available more widely. This is a severe disadvantage compared to what is available for the planning of most north European cities.


Privatisation, bus planning, travel data, public transport planning,

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