Statistics from the Department for Transport found that 4.31 billion local bus journeys were made in the year ending September 2018, a 2.1 per cent decrease on the previous year.
Michael Waterson, an economics professor at the University of Warwick, noted that this is despite people travelling more.
He said that a drop in the number of users has meant that those who continue to use services are forced to shoulder the costs. He added: ‘Buses tend to be used more intensely by people who do not have alternatives, and those who are on relatively low incomes, so there is a clear distributional issue.’ According to Waterson, urban bus services are more affected by ‘declining patronage on commercial routes’ whilst ‘rural services are differentially affected by cuts to subsidies’.
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