Transforming bus services: new report from Campaign for Better Transport

Following the announcement by the Chancellor in his Spending Round of £200 million to “put the wheels back on the Great British Bus”, Campaign for Better Transport sets out the policy interventions the Government should pursue to support this vital transport mode, including:

  • Better journey planning and data availability so passengers are able to plan effectively
  • Reducing the cost of travel to make buses more affordable
  • Moving the UK bus fleet to zero emissions in order to meet air quality and net zero targets
  • New models of delivery and funding
  • Setting out a longer term policy framework; including a rural mobility strategy and national bus strategy

There are 4.4 billion journeys made by bus each year, accounting for 59 per cent of all public transport journeys. In recent years, however, falling passenger numbers and serious reductions in services have left many communities disconnected from the public transport system, increasing social isolation and stifling local economies.

Darren Shirley, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said:

“Buses are the backbone of transport networks across the country, connecting communities, getting people to and from work, and supporting the economy. The Chancellor’s announcement of £200m should be used to kick-start a longer-term programme of change that improves local bus services. The Government needs to bring forward a National Bus Strategy and comprehensive settlement in the next three year Spending Review.”

The future of the bus recommends a number of key interventions to help local authorities and bus operators increase ridership, integrate buses with other modes and set a path to zero emissions. These include:

  • A bus manufacturing sector deal to make the UK a world leader in zero emission buses
  • A deadline of 2025 for a zero emission bus fleet facilitated by a bus fleet and depot overhaul programme
  • Smart ticketing and mobility credits to reduce the cost of travel
  • Support for local authorities; both in terms of local multi-year funding and capacity building
  • National innovation and integration funding to ensure buses are part of the transport network of the future.
Access the full report here


Sign up to our newsletter to receive all the latest news and updates.