March 25 2022

New research released today (25 March) shows that most people support measures which give buses greater priority on roads.

The research shows that three times as many people support bus priority as oppose it, rising to a four to one ratio for businesses with all regions enjoying more support than opposition. Of those who expressed an opinion, 79% of the public support the introduction of measures such as bus lanes and bus only roads with the same level of support amongst businesses.

The Committee on Climate Change states that for the UK to remain on track for its net zero goals, one in ten car journeys made today need to be made by bus by the end of the decade so introducing measures which will speed up bus journey times and encourage more people out of cars and onto the bus is vital. Despite high levels of support for bus priority local authorities can find it challenging to introduce such measures as they face opposition from a minority who oppose greater priority for bus.

To help councils the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) has produced a set of toolkits that include recommendations based on research with both the general public and business owners on how to best communicate the benefits of bus priority.

Key findings include:

  • It is important to highlight the role bus travel can play in delivering local environmental goals and improving the liveability of an area.
  • Put accessibility and improved life chances at the heart of messaging.
  • Being transparent about potential disruption during construction and ensuring early and meaningful local engagement with local communities is vital.

Commenting on the findings of the research and toolkit launch CPT Chief Executive Graham Vidler said:

“This research shows that councils can enjoy public and business support when it comes to giving buses priority on our roads, helping them meet their own net zero targets and the UK’s overall climate change goals.

“Priority for buses means quicker and more reliable journeys and, therefore, more people on buses. This will improve access to jobs and services and drive down carbon emissions.

“Understandably people can have concerns about schemes where the impact of construction is unclear or the benefits to them and their local community are not clearly set out. Our toolkit will help local authorities ensure widespread community support for measures they want to introduce.”

Commenting on the launch of the toolkit Transport Minister Baroness Vere said:

“We’re investing unprecedented levels of funding into both supporting and transforming our bus industry. As this research highlights, the sector plays a vital role in cleaning up the air in our communities, as we work to achieve net zero.

“I hope local authorities will take advantage of CPT’s insight and toolkit as they encourage their communities to use public transport services.”

Follow the links below to download the toolkit and other related documents.

Delivering better bus services - A toolkit for engaging with local communities

Delivering better bus services - Wales summary

Delivering better bus services - Scotland summary