1982 PVR of 42, irregular train service (PVR - peak vehicle requirement)
2020 PVR of 60 with modern fleet and a new depot.
Train service hourly having had money thrown at it.
I wonder how many passengers were carried in 1982 and in 2020? But the proportion of the population who rely on public transport has reduced over 40 years.
fbb is not sure whether the PVR of the dominant company is a good comparative measure as it excludes the smaller independent operator, most of which have disappeared! But, of course he is right, and remains right; national and local government policy remains inconsistent.
Also of note is that quite a bit of North Devon's rail network has gone since 1960. Ahh, the joy of the Atlantic Coast Express!
So, in North Devon we have ...
In North Devon, the bugbear was Filers who attacked all the Red Bus "main line" routes resulting in droves of empty buses chasing the passengers between Ilfracombe, Barnstaple, Bideford and Westward Ho! - and elsewhere.
Cawlett responded in typical fashion with extra buses and a new brand.
As the Cawlett Years progressed, it became very obvious that politician Nick Ridley's view of the joyous benefits of a public transport "free market" were struggling.
As it turned out, nobody was really interested in these idealistic village services so Local Authorities were forced to put them out to tender. Cue another round of competition for routes, usually by one-bit operators who quoted too little and went on to fail. The pattern was not universal but it did expose the problem of the non-commercial bus route - one that remains today.
Enter the bags of shiny state aid in the form of the Rural Bus Grant designed to undo some of the disasters of deregulation. Services did improve dramatically, but for how long?
But the big boys were circling. Why the sweat and tears of running buses when Grampian/Badgerline (begat First), British Bus/Drawlane/Cowie (begat Arriva) and the eternal and unchanging Stagecoach were prepared to pay silly money for your business. At this stage GoAhead only went ahead in the North East!
Devon General went to Stagecoach, whilst First Bus snapped up Western National and Southern National/Red Bus.
But it hasn't changed much. The chip shop still sells chips and the premises opposite purveys tourist
grot requisites ...