Bus passengers: happy, but why are there fewer of them?

05 April 2019

Nearly 49,000 bus passengers in England and Scotland gave their verdict on their last journey in Autumn 2018 – we have published the full results.

While the averages conceal some very wide variations in overall satisfaction, value for money and punctuality, the full results show that for those people who have access to a bus service it remains a good choice.

Where local authorities and operators do or can work closely together – plus a dose of political backbone – the results can be impressive. Swindon, Derbyshire, Bournemouth and Poole, Cheshire West and Chester, Nottinghamshire and East Sussex all clear 90 per cent overall satisfaction, with others not far behind. By contrast, Worcestershire lags behind.

The reasons for these scores are a complex amalgam of funding, history, politics, geography, wealth, choice and will. Passengers who can or do choose bus seem to like their choice – we now just need more services to choose from, especially at weekends and later in the evening.

As air quality worsens, car use rises and bus ridership fluctuates around England and Scotland, the need to make bus a better choice (or a choice at all!) has never been greater.

Transport Focus’s bus survey team is now out on the road with these results, helping local authorities and operators understand the results and shape new action plans. A total of 92 meetings scheduled across England and Scotland will help ensure the passenger voice is heard.

Transport Focus is also continuing its focus on bus passengers of the future – our current series of highly praised, useful workshops comes to a close with a focus on young people and public transport in Glasgow on Thursday 25 April. There are still spaces at this event if you want to come.

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