Sustainable transport and the organisation of bus services in Manchester: Do markets, hierarchies or networks fail?

Henrik Gudmundsson

“Sustainable transport” has become a headline for transport planning and policy making around the world. While there are many different definitions of what Sustainable Transport means, it commonly includes efforts to improve the environmental performance of transport systems, and to promote alternative modes of transport to private cars, such as public transport. In this paper we focus only on the potential of bus transport services in cities for attracting travellers from cars. It is a basic assumption behind this paper that the ability of public bus transport to attract travellers from cars depends on how the bus sector is organised. By organisation we adopt an institutional point of view and consider basic modes of governance. Basic modes of governance include the forms “market”, “hierarchy” and “network” (Powell 1990). So-called New Public Management (NPM) reforms have changed the modes of governance of bus transport in several countries, including Denmark and the United Kingdom. Our focus is on how New Public Mangement Reforms have changed the mix of governance modes and thus may have influenced the ability of urban bus transport to attract travellers from cars. We focus on a particular case: Public bus transport in England, exemplified by Greater Manchester. England represents a situation where - compared to continental Europe including Denmark - the NPM reforms have been particularly radical. In no other European country the market forces has achieved a role as dominant as in England (outside London). We therefore assume that it is relevant to investigate the influence from the NPM reforms in this case, in order to discuss how the change in governance modes more generally enable or constrain the delivery of more sustainable transport patterns.



Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) workshop in Stockholm

An open seminar and workshop in Stockholm will be held on 25-26 April 2018. The workshop deals with the use of CBA as a basis for decision-making in the public sector. The workshop is organized by, among others, Professor Jan-Eric Nilsson, VTI.



Ulf Sandberg has been presented with the TTI Lifetime Achievement Award 2018

VTI’s Senior Research Leader Ulf Sandberg has been presented with the TTI Lifetime Achievement Award 2018 for his work on research into tyres and road surface.


Steps need to be taken to increase traffic safety of automated cars

Several steps are necessary to ensure that automated and connected cars will lead to increased traffic safety – everything from ensuring that technology takes vulnerable road users into account, to new forms of driver training. This has emerged in a position...


FALCON examines challenges in the transport sector

VTI is one of several important partners in the major FALCON project*, whose purpose is to create knowledge and insight regarding the transport sector. In an initial subproject, VTI has produced a manual on transport, logistics and multimodality.


VTI joined research cooperation in China

In December 2017 VTI became a member of China-Sweden Research Centre for Traffic Safety (CTS).


Swedish German research collaboration on Electric Road Systems

The project “Swedish-German research collaboration on Electric Road Systems” (CollERS) has now officially started. The goal of the project is to increase the common knowledge around Electric Road Systems by cooperation between Germany and Sweden and to...


Electric Road Systems Conference 2018

After a successful first conference in June 2017, the Swedish research and innovation platform for electric roads is arranging the second dedicated International Conference on Electric Road Systems (ERS) June 13th and 14th 2018.