A roadmap for ‘better buses’

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Vendigital’s Phil Bulman considers the implications of the Governments new bus strategy

In March, the UK Government announced a £3bn strategy to make buses cheaper, more frequent and easier to use, while creating jobs within the industry and cutting down on carbon emissions. While the announcement was a positive step, improved collaboration between bus operators and local authorities and the smart use of data will be essential to increase passenger numbers and accelerate the sector’s recovery. Thinking of ways to get people out of cars and make buses a preferred and affordable transport option, including a consideration of transport connectivity and the overall passenger experience, will also be key.

According to Government figures, bus use has fallen steadily over the last decade. In 2009, 4.64bn journeys were taken on local buses but by 2019, that figure had fallen to 4.32bn. Since then, of course, the pandemic has also taken its toll and passenger numbers have plummeted further. Government’s new ‘Bus Back Better’ strategy – the first of its kind for the industry – aims to address this negative trend by improving the quality and affordability of UK bus services.


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