Headlines: September 7th, 2007

The majority of people using buses are happy with their local services. A survey by the Department for Transport of people’s public transport experiences has revealed that three-quarters of passengers are pleased with services. The report was commissioned by the Department to improve understanding of the views of both users and non-users of buses.

Passengers were generally positive about their experiences and the vast majority rated services as either ‘very good’ or ‘fairly’ good. The study also found most households could claim to live within a short walk of their nearest bus stop.

In detail the findings showed the average person made 65 local bus trips, travelling 296 miles, in 2006. Regular bus use is relatively common with 25 per cent of people using local bus services at least weekly and a further 13 per cent catching a bus at least monthly. On accessibility, 92 per cent of adults could walk to a bus stop within 13 minutes and 72 per cent of passengers believed services were good.

The survey does, though, show the size of the challenge ahead if more people are to be encouraged to abandon their cars and take buses for local journeys. Just over half of non-bus users said the convenience of their own car was the reason for not using buses more often. Relatively few listed cost, frequency or safety concerns as factors in the decision, although half said they would travel more by bus if they saw continuing improvements in services