Bus Users UK launches manifesto for change

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Bus Users UK has launched a 10-point manifesto for change in the run-up to the General Election 2015.

The group argued that while buses make a vital and significant contribution to the economy, they still seem to be overlooked by policy makers, under-funded by central and local government and treated like the ‘Cinderella’ of transport services.

The Manifesto is calling for:

  • Enhanced bus priority measures in town and city centres to improve reliability and journey times;
  • Accessible stopping points with better facilities and enhanced passenger information, positioned closer to shopping and business centres;
  • Fully funded concessions made available to unemployed people and those on low incomes;
  • Widespread on-board facilities such as audio visual information, phone charging and WiFi;
  • Better timetable coordination with schools, colleges and employment;
  • Improved integration across all transport modes;
  • Mandatory driver training to improve awareness of issues relating to mobility, disability and mental health and improve communication skills with passengers;
  • Measures to improve the passenger experience;
  • More late and weekend services to reflect changing working patterns, particularly among low paid and entry level jobs; and
  • A simplified fares system across all modes.

“If society is to benefit fully from what the bus has to offer then the next UK Government needs to take action,” said Claire Walters, Chief Executive of Bus Users UK.

“We’ve seen rail services improve considerably in the UK in the 21st century with passenger numbers rising dramatically, The same is true of bus services in London where, with the right investment and the opportunity to flourish, passenger numbers have doubled since 1985: in the other major conurbations over the same period bus passenger numbers have halved.

“We want to see the rest of the UK enjoy the success of London with improved services and increased passenger numbers. By signing up to our Manifesto the next Government will be able to maximise the significant economic, societal and environmental benefits of bus services.”