Operators mark Catch the Bus Month campaign

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Go-Ahead Group

Go-Ahead is showing its support for the Bus Users UK’s ‘Catch the Bus Month’ campaign throughout September. The campaign aims to encourage people to take the bus and promotes the benefits such as accessibility, affordability, and sustainability. The campaign is in line with Go-Ahead’s targets set out in its ‘The Next Billion Journeys’ business strategy to attract more people to bus travel post Covid-19 and the Group’s commitment for more sustainable travel.

During Catch the Bus Month 2022, Go-Ahead bus companies are specifically highlighting the benefits of bus travel:

  • In East Anglia, in-person events in Norwich, Sudbury, Clacton and Colchester will promote car free days with local MPs in attendance to show their support. Subsidiary Konectbus, will also offer free travel across Norwich on 25 September, coinciding with World Car Free Day, to encourage people to travel by bus;
  • Brighton & Hove will be promoting its digital ‘My bus is driving change’ campaign to showcase all the different people who catch the bus, including messaging around accessibility, zero-emission benefits and targeting loneliness;
  • Subsidiaries Plymouth CityBus and Go Cornwall are encouraging bus travel amongst families and older people by offering them concessions. People at the Devon Business Show will also receive a free bus ticket to encourage them to try the bus.

Go-Ahead says it has seen a significant recovery in passenger numbers post Covid-19. Go North West is the first of the Go-Ahead Group’s UK-wide networks to hit pre-pandemic levels of passenger recovery. Across the UK, bus usage remains at about 85% of pre-pandemic levels.
Mark Anderson, Go-Ahead’s Customer and Commercial Director, said: “Catch the Bus Month is a great campaign to be involved in. We’ve been working hard to bring passengers back to our buses – including data analysis to understand new travel patterns and to tailor routes, schedules, and ticketing to match passenger needs, plus marketing initiatives to rebuild confidence in public transport.

“The Group is working closely with clients and local authorities to stimulate further modal shift from private cars to public transport, supporting the achievement of local and national climate change targets.”

Buses also reduce social isolation and improve health and well-being. Claire Walters, Chief Executive of Bus Users UK, the charity behind Catch the Bus Month, said: “Buses make a huge contribution to all our lives socially, economically, and environmentally. They are also a lifeline for communities providing access to education, work, healthcare, shops, and leisure. We want to see more people get on board this September to protect these vital services for future generations.”

Stagecoach

Stagecoach is also taking the opportunity to remind people of the benefits of switching to bus. Recently revealed statistics that show buses remain one of the cheapest transport options, the firm said, with data showing that average car journey costs have increased 12 times more than the cost of bus travel in the last six years. It added that by mixing their commute and switching from train to bus train for just two days a week, people could save up to £800 per year on their travel.

The firm also reiterated the environmental benefits to be made by switching to bus, such as that swapping the car for the bus for just two journeys a week can save more than 900kg of CO2 emissions in a year, with train users saving over 1,500kg of CO2. To mark Catch the Bus Month, the operator says it is making it even easier for customers to travel more flexibly. It has recently rolled out a new range of flexible bus tickets providing lower cost bus travel which can be bought in bundles of 5 or 10 and have up to 12 months to use them, whilst saving up to 30% on the cost.

Carla Stockton-Jones, Stagecoach UK Managing Director, commented: “Our recent research shows that people can make a real saving on their weekly commute, even by just switching two journeys a week from car or train to bus, and it also offers huge environmental benefits. As Britain’s biggest bus provider, we’re proud that bus services are still one of the cheapest travel options, and we’re offering some great savings with our range of Flexi tickets. We’d encourage everyone to use the opportunity during Catch the Bus month to mix up their commute.”

GO-AHEAD