Some information for those who think that London’s buses are wonderful and are arranged through some sort of “franchise arrangement” where operators, get good, average and poorly used routes to operate. This is most definitely NOT the case. Each and every bus route is the subject of a separate contract between Transport for London (TfL) and a bus operator.
TfL define the route, the timetable and the number of buses and keep the revenue from each service. The annual cost to the taxpayer of TfL’s bus services is about £700 million per annum after revenue is deducted. That is a subsidy of £70 per head of population per annum in London. To put that into context, SPT spends about £7.5 million per annum on subsidised local bus route for the whole of its vast geographical area. That is a subsidy of £3.50 per head of population per annum. No wonder London’s buses are good. London’s costs quoted here exclude the excellent Oyster Card which I believe costs another £100 million per annum to operate.
Translating the TfL arrangements to the SPT area would cost about £160 million per annum. Now remind me why we need two new aircraft carriers?