First patronage growth for five years in Guernsey

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A downward trend in Guernsey bus passenger figures has reversed for the first time in five years.

The number of journeys taken by passengers rose steadily from the year 2000, when a new service was introduced, until 2009, when journeys topped 1.6 million.

Figures have declined since then, with some people blaming a fare increase from 60p to £1 per journey in 2010.

Figures for the first half of this year show a rise of nearly 20,000 journeys compared with the same period in 2013. The biggest rise comparing monthly figures was in June, which saw more journeys made than in the same month in 2013 or 2012.

The figures for passenger journeys from January – June for the last four years are as follows:

  • 2014 – 652,155
  • 2013 – 633,279
  • 2012 – 692,927
  • 2011 – 724,038

However, during June 2013 the service had been disrupted by a strike and a shortage of a drivers.

A spokesman for bus operator CT Plus said: “We recognise [June’s] figures are in comparison to a very difficult June last year, but by edging ahead of the 2012 figures, they do represent a genuinely positive step forward.”

One possible reason behind the rise of bus use in June was the ending of a two-tier tariff, which saw locals pay £1 and visitors £2 per journey, meaning all passengers are now charged £1 for a single journey. The spokesman also claimed reliability, which had featured in a lot of complaints from customers, had improved in the past 12 months.

“Over the last quarter, there have been no cancellations whatsoever and we’ve run more than 99.99% of all scheduled mileage – a result that any bus operator in the world would be proud of,” he said.