2: Competition in Tyne and Wear

Ridership on the Tyne and Wear Metro dropped by 13 million – more than 27 per cent – in the first year of bus deregulation when bus operators competed with the light rail system, rather than complement it. As a result, ever since Tyne and Wear local authorities and national government have been paying twice for higher subsidy to support the Metro (as well as higher levels of Bus Service Operators Grant, a fuel subsidy to support bus operators) to provide overlapping and competing services.

Figure 3: Tyne and Wear Metro ridership 1983 – 2018