Bus use still falling across Great Britain

 

The number of passenger journeys on buses in England fell again over the past year, with bus use in both London and the rest of the country continuing to decline.

Department for Transport statistics show that for the year ending June 2017, the number of local bus passenger journeys in England was 4.43 billion, a 1.7% decrease on the previous year (4.51 billion).

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Bus use in both London and England outside London also fell by 1.7%.

The falls follow a decrease in bus patronage of 2.7% between 2015 and 2016, which was largely driven by a 3.6% decline in London.

Lianna Etkind, public transport campaigner at Campaign for Better Transport, said: ‘It is disappointing to see bus use falling again, but hardly surprising given year on year cuts to local authority bus budgets. The good news is councils now have new powers in the Bus Services Act to improve bus networks, restore connections and set standards.

‘There's a huge opportunity here to make bus services more attractive, affordable and environmentally friendly, bringing benefits not just to passengers but to the wider community.’

Comparing local bus passenger journeys for April to June 2017 to the same period in 2016, there was a 1.6% decrease in England as a whole.

Across the same two quarters, bus use fell by 0.7% in London, by 2.4% in England outside London, by 2.0% in Scotland and by 1.9% in Wales.

The local bus fares index increased by 2.1% in England between June 2016 and June 2017.

The index fell by 1.8% in London, but rose by 3.9% in metropolitan areas and 5.2% in non-metropolitan areas.

Local bus fares increased by 2.2% in Scotland and 1.8% in Wales. The retail prices index measure of inflation was 3.5% over the same 12-month period.

 

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