Working in partnership with London TravelWatch

Bus passengers have their say – results out today

14 March 2016

Passengers on their local bus may be generally content with their service but value for money ratings and satisfaction with punctuality vary widely across the country.

In the latest survey of more than 40,000 passengers by the independent watchdog 86 per cent of all passengers were satisfied with their local bus service.

But while many services are delivering their passengers’ needs others are less consistent on the basics like reliably running to time or providing a value for money service.

Fare paying passenger satisfaction with value for money ranged from 41 per cent to 80 per cent (averaging 63 per cent) with a gulf of 39 percentage points between the highest and lowest area scores.

We know there are increasingly significant challenges facing bus operations in some town and city centres due to increased traffic congestion. Satisfaction with punctuality ranged from 64 per cent to 84 per cent (averaging 75 per cent) which is down from the 2014 figure of 77.

David Sidebottom, passenger director of the independent watchdog, said:

“Passengers tell us that they want a bus service that is punctual, reliable and offers value for money. Such a wide range of value for money and punctuality scores across the country shows there is still room for improvement.

“With lots of debate and decisions being made about how bus services up and down the country are run we hope that government, transport authorities and bus companies work together to use these findings to improve the things that matter most for passengers – a consistent, punctual, reliable and value for money bus service.

“Understanding what drives improved passenger satisfaction, and then delivering that more consistently, is one way of getting more people to use buses.”

The Bus Passenger Survey report, published today, gives a picture of satisfaction with bus travel that includes views on the bus stop, waiting for the bus, on the bus, the outside of the bus and the bus driver as well as overall satisfaction with that bus journey and value for money.

While some bus services are being cut because of the continued pressure on public and private sector budgets it makes it even more important that services are built around the needs of passengers to encourage existing users to make more journeys and seek out more people to be the bus passenger of tomorrow.

The findings of the survey will be debated at our event, Is bus the missing link in delivering a northern powerhouse?, in Manchester on 16 March 2016. To find out more information click here.

To download the full Bus Passenger Survey report, visit: https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/research/publications/bus-passenger-survey-full-report-autumn-2015

– Ends

The Bus Passenger Survey
We spoke to more than 40,000 passengers this year to produce a picture of satisfaction with bus travel. The Bus Passenger Survey (BPS) measured passengers’ satisfaction with their local bus service for a wide range of aspects including the bus stop, waiting for the bus, on the bus, the outside of the bus and the bus driver as well as their overall satisfaction with that bus journey and their rating of value for money.

Our recently published report on passengers’ trust in and relationship with the bus industry, Bus passengers have their say: Trust, what to improve and using buses more, can also be found here.

Transport Focus is the independent consumer organisation representing the interests of:

  • all users of England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads (the Strategic Road Network)
  • rail passengers in Great Britain
  • bus, coach and tram users across England outside London.

We work to make a difference for all transport users.

For further information please contact:
Kieran Watkins, Communications Officer
Tel: 0300 123 0836 or e-mail: Kieran.watkins@transportfocus.org.uk

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