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Bus services come under scrutiny

A major review of bus services was launched yesterday by the Government in an attempt to reverse the precipitous decline in passenger numbers.

Gavin Strang, the transport minister, launched the review at a conference of bus executives and told delegates that "nothing would be ruled out". Dr Strang said more needed to be done if buses were to play a greater role in meeting transport needs and reducing the dependency of the car. Buses outside London were deregulated in the mid-1980s.

In the capital, London Transport is working up plans for three new, fenced- off bus routes designed to get the public out of their cars and onto public transport. The bus lanes would be kept car free and buses would get priority at traffic lights and at junctions. The overall aim would be to ensure they bypassed any road congestion and travelled with the speed and reliability of a tram.