Is it better to have a uniform identity for all the buses in a conurbation’s network and attempt to make it easy to use, or is there more to gain from branding that gives each route a standout look and sells what is on offer? DAVID JENKINS considers the arguments.

How on buses? do you In attract London, people it has to travel been made apparently simple, and the red bus is an internationally known symbol.

An example of branding designed to create a desire to travel is the Lakes Connection livery on Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire 36100 (MX59 JBV), an Alexander Dennis Enviro200.

Just touch in, no need to speak to the driver, and crawl slowly through the streets to your destination. London has effectively reduced the role of the bus to that of a public utility, like gas or electricity. It has only been possible with a large subsidy.

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