Almost half of UK adults ‘set to switch to bus’ as cost-of-living crisis begins to bite

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A survey for First Bus suggests that almost half of UK adults could consider using the bus more frequently in order to save money. JONATHAN WELCH

41% of UK adults are planning to use the bus more frequently in a bid to save money as households feel the pinch of the cost-of-living crisis, according to research carried out by First Bus. The research found that the cities whose bus services are most expected to see this heightened demand are London, Glasgow, Leeds and Liverpool. Those aged 16–24 have made the most difference and claim to have started taking the bus more for three main reasons: to save money on petrol, to help the environment and to choose the more relaxing option of travel, as opposed to driving, according to First.

The data, which attempts to provide a snapshot view of how the cost-of-living crisis is driving transport decisions, was commissioned by First to highlight the benefits of bus travel at a time where many (23% according to the survey) are preparing for a recession and are looking for simple ways to save money.

More widely, First reports that respondents advised that other ways they’re seeking to save money is by avoiding eating and drinking when out of the home, such as by taking packed lunches and picnics, walking and/or cycling more, and taking shorter showers.

Chief Commercial Officer at First Bus Simon Pearson said: “It’s great that people can see that taking the bus is a great way to support family budgets as more and more people consider cost saving measures. At First Bus, we’re working hard to make sure bus can become an increasingly viable and hassle-free solution for more people through the introduction of clear ticketing structures, and the introduction of new technologies that allow us to offer the best value fares.

“The steps that we have made, from implementing and developing the app to adopting electric and hydrogen vehicles into our network, means that bus has evolved and changed for the better. It’s worlds apart from the stereotypes of legacy bus travel and will only get better still as the technology around real-time data and up-to-the-minute information continues to mature.

“We’ve recently completed the largest roll-out of tap on, tap off technology outside of London, in keeping with our commitment to making bus easier to use for the communities we serve. We will continue to work closely with central and local government across the UK to meet demand and welcome people back to bus.”