Working in partnership with London TravelWatch

Liverpool trials scrapping bus lanes

30 September 2013

The news that Liverpool City Council has voted for a nine-month suspension of the City’s bus lanes is alarming. The claim they have not helped promote people shifting from car travel is a very poor argument.

From our research we know that bus punctuality is key to passengers’ everyday satisfaction. Good timekeeping helps bus to be a good transport choice. Punctuality is the factor that passengers want to see improved most across the country. Removing bus lanes will probably have one effect - buses will cease to be such a good choice. So those who rely on bus travel have a worse experience and others will go back to using cars.

People make their transport choices on fine balances of cost and convenience. Through our Bus Passenger Survey – the next wave of which is currently being carried out – we will be able to plot the impact of this trial. At the moment Liverpool’s passengers rate their buses quite highly. Let’s hope the trail is properly evaluated and the effects understood.

As we know from other research it can be very hard to reach those passengers who have ‘disappeared’ from the system. Their voice is not heard and the effect on them of decisions such as this are little understood. See our report on the effects of bus cuts for some idea:

http://www.passengerfocus.org.uk/research/publications/bus-service-reductions-the-impact-on-passengers

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