Bus Regulation: The Musical

13 November 2022

This fun, family-friendly show featured performers on roller skates re-enacting the history of public transport provision in Merseyside, from the post-war period to the present.

Sun 13 Nov 2022, 2pm and 3pm.

Bus Regulation: The Musical by Glasgow-based artist Ellie Harrison is inspired by the 1980s hit musical Starlight Express and features performers re-enacting the history of public transport provision on Merseyside, from the post-war period to the present... on roller skates!

Beginning with the municipal ownership of buses in the 1960s, through the 1968 Transport Act which created the Merseyside PTE and the coordination of public transport across the whole region in the 1970s, Bus Regulation: The Musical takes you into the chaos caused by bus de-regulation in 1986, the numerous mergers & takeovers of the 1990s that followed, right up to the fragmented and expensive system we’re left with as a result. The Musical concludes with a celebration of Liverpool City Region’s proposals to re-regulate our region’s buses in order to create a world-class, fully-integrated and affordable public transport network fit for the 21st century.

Bus Regulation: The Musical, first staged in Greater Manchester, 2019. Image by Andrew Brooks.

This Merseyside production was built on the success of the Greater Manchester and Strathclyde Musicals, and was the final part of Harrison’s ambitious Trilogy exploring the relationship between public transport policy and population health in these three post-industrial city regions.

Featured on BBC Radio 4’s You & Yours, BBC North West Today, The Guardian, CityMetric, East of the M60 and Coach & Bus Week.

Bus Regulation: The Musical is funded by Arts Council England through the National Lottery Project Grants programme and produced in collaboration with the Bluecoat, We Own It, ACORN Liverpool, Better Buses for Merseyside and local roller skaters from Liverpool Roller Birds and Wirral Roller Derby.