Passenger Focus welcomes £80m investment in West Midlands buses

03 July 2013

Today Centro and National Express West Midlands announced an £80m investment in improvements to buses, including new vehicles, smartcards and better information at bus stops.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Passenger Focus, said:

“Passengers in the West Midlands will welcome this further investment in buses and, crucially, work to allow buses to move around faster. Our Bus Passenger Survey (BPS) showed that the bus journey time was a key factor in passenger satisfaction in the West Midlands, so passengers will be pleased to see that this is to be tackled.

“This demonstrates what we always say – that passengers need to be at the heart of all decision-making and spending plans. Centro has worked closely with us to boost the coverage of BPS in their area and these investments should improve satisfaction as they are closely tied to passenger priorities.

“For example, passengers tell us that they want accurate, up-to-date information about their bus – so the announcement of more real-time displays at stops is a positive step. Only half of passengers are satisfied with value for money, meaning that new vehicles and easier ways to pay for the daily journey will be good news.”

Background note

  • Passenger Focus is the independent watchdog for bus, coach and tram passengers in England outside of London, as well as rail passengers throughout Great Britain.
  • Our annual bus passenger satisfaction survey is completed by more than 22,000 passengers a year. The next round will be published in March 2014 and will allow us to track whether these investments have had an effect. 
    In March 2013 we found the following results for the West Midlands:

o overall satisfaction was 79 per cent
o value for money was 50 per cent
o satisfaction with the cleanliness of the bus was 69 per cent (outside) and 64 per cent (inside)
o information provided at the stop was 70 per cent.



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