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Theoretical investigations into competition, regulation, and integration in transport networks

Reynolds, Michael Matthew


Michael Matthew Reynolds


Jolian P. McHardy


This thesis consists of three parts. In the first part, we review the literature and some of the key issues in UK transport. We identify a need to discourage car use and the role that public transport plays in this. We discuss the various options available to policymakers to reduce problems of congestion and pollution. We note how the emphasis on deregulation and competition to promote public transport, and discourage car use, have had perverse side effects. In some cases, public transport services have become disintegrated; resulting in reductions in flexibility and increasing the generalised cost of travelling – making public transport less attractive. This raises an important question: how do we encourage a greater degree of service integration without undoing the gains from competition? The second part of the thesis, explores this issue using a theoretical transport network model. We find that various regimes involving private firms are likely to lead to the provision of an integrated ticketing system, but that not all such regimes are socially desirable. We consider how the configuration of regulatory policy may steer the private firms to produce more socially desirable outcomes.

The deregulation of elements of the UK public transport network has often led to situations approaching local monopoly. The third part of this thesis investigates the private (monopoly) incentive to offer joined-up services relative to the social incentive. The more complete the service provision, the closer the match with consumer’s preferences, and the lower the generalised cost of travel. We find the monopolist does not always choose the socially desirable level of service, even when economically viable, but it may be possible to induce this provision through entry or threats of entry on a sub-set of the network.

The thesis ends with a summary of the main results and suggestions for further work.


Reynolds, M. M. (2009). Theoretical investigations into competition, regulation, and integration in transport networks. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Apr 4, 2014
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Economics
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Economics, The University of Hull
Award Date Jan 1, 2009


Thesis (3.8 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2009 Reynolds, Michael Matthew. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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