Continuing decline in bus passenger journeys could be affecting productivity
The continuing decline in bus journeys taken and bus mileage in England was reaffirmed in The Department for Transport’s annual bus statistics released today (30/01/2019).
Pinpointing the decline to a particular cause is difficult but increasing bus fares and lower levels of public financial support for commercially non-viable but socially important bus routes have been suggested as part of the explanation.
Bus journeys declined 1.9% across England between April 2017 and March 2018, with a 0.7% decrease in London and 3.2% outside of London. Since 2008 bus journeys have decreased by 15.5% in metropolitan areas outside of London. Further, the satisfaction with punctuality and journey time is also decreasing for bus services.
Research by the Productivity Insights Network shows that UK cities do not follow the economic law of agglomeration effects and attributes this to poor public transport in many English cities London excluded. Improving the bus-service and increasing the number of passenger journeys could benefit the productivity of cities claims the Productivity Insights Network. Yesterday (29/01/2019), the Transport Committee enquired about how bus services are currently operated in the UK. There is currently no national strategy for bus transport in the UK.
At CIHT’s Annual Conference on the 7th March which this year is focussed on productivity, you can hear about the guidelines CIHT Better Planning for Better Transport & Places which focus on how planning can help the UK’s productivity problems while remaining sustainable and addressing social inequity.