RE: Bus Service Cuts
Sorry Dave - although there is some work on buses elsewhere is tends to focus on service patterns rather than the subsidy. If you do a search on the website for "rural transport" you might come up with some more relevant examples.
You might do well to start in the metropolitan areas with integrated transport authorities (ITAs) like Birmingham, Manchester etc. Here, transport providers are held to account by councillors more frequently and you might be able to get some insight.
Or - and I know it is different in regulatory and political terms - the London Assembly Transport Committee does a good job in the capital at holding bus franchising to account.
Of course, the organisational context for all these will be different to your circumstances, so bear that in mind.
Research and Information Manager, CfPS