October 26 2023
- Bus passenger numbers growing week on week
- Strong demand in leisure travel for the nation’s most popular form of public transport
- “Government must seize this opportunity to grow the role of bus even more,” says leading transport body
The number of people taking the bus outside of London has returned to pre-pandemic levels for the first time.
After months of steady growth, Tuesday 12th October was the first weekday when more people travelled by bus than on the equivalent day before the pandemic.
Buses, which are the nation’s most popular form of public transport, continue to outperform other modes of transport, including rail.
Commenting on the news, Graham Vidler, CEO of the Confederation of Passenger Transport, the voice of the UK’s bus and coach sector, said:
“The growing number of bus passengers demonstrates the central role buses play in so many people’s lives.
“Operators have worked tirelessly to make the bus as attractive as possible for passengers, keeping fares low and investing over £2bn in cleaner, greener vehicles over the last eight years, making it the sector’s greenest and most modern fleet.
“With the majority of bus journeys outside of London capped at £2, there has never been a better time to give the bus a try.”
Whilst welcoming the additional £930m allocated to buses in the north of England and the Midlands following the reconfiguration of the HS2 budget earlier this month, CPT is urging the Government to recognise the importance of buses to people’s lives across the whole country by committing to long-term, nationwide funding for the sector.
“Government must seize this opportunity to unlock the full potential of bus with a longer-term funding settlement.
“The payback of such investment could be huge, with buses being key drivers of economic growth, levelling up our communities and reducing our carbon emissions.”
Notes to editors:
- According to data from Ticketer, bus passengers continue to grow week on week and, on Tuesday 12th October, levels surpassed those seen on a weekday in March 2020 for the first time.
- This follows several Sundays when bus use exceeded pre-pandemic levels across the UK, thanks to a booming demand for leisure travel.
- Rail usage is at 83% of pre-pandemic levels.
- The Confederation of Passenger Transport is the trade association for the UK’s bus and coach sector with around 900 members.