I wonder whether James Curry (You Write last month) and other Londoners realise how lucky they are. Here is what deregulation is like.
Fareham and Gosport are adjoining boroughs with a combined population of 225,000. Around 95% of the buses are run by one operator (FirstGroup). In most of the country outside the conurbations, and apart from some deeply rural areas, there tends to be only one main operator, as the big four or five have effectively divided up the country. There are sound economic arguments for that.
Yes, First has innovated by developing the Solent Ranger service between Portsmouth and Southampton via Fareham and we have the Eclipse bus rapid transit route to Gosport via a disused railway line (financed by government). In both these cases, comfortable new, route-branded vehicles are used.