This report focuses on the relationship between public and private stakes in rail services, and differences between bus services in London and elsewhere.

Our analysis examines the pros and cons of existing policy for both of these transport markets. While policy for London buses seems to be performing reasonably well, there are challenges facing rail which need addressing, though these pale in comparison to those facing bus markets outside London.

Policy recommendations for rail cover:

  • allowing public sector rail operators to compete for franchises, including as part of a joint venture with private companies
  • handing responsibility for franchising decisions to the Office of Rail Regulation
  • encouraging train operating companies (TOCs) to contribute more towards infrastructure costs and reduce the burden on taxpayers

Recommendations focused on bus services outside London include:

  • giving greater powers and responsibilities to local bodies to shape local bus markets
  • replicating the Transport for London (TfL) model at the city-region and combined authority level
  • greater integration of transport spending and services by health and education providers (such as hospital shuttles and school buses)
  • a new long-term, national transport strategy, to be written and owned by the Department for Transport.