Parliamentary answer on bus decline

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Lord Kennedy of Southwark, Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs, Communities and Local Government, and Housing), asked the Government what they consider to be the reasons for the decline in bus journeys in England, which equates to 1.4%, as reported in the Quarterly Bus Statistics published in June.

Baroness Sugg, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) said: “The latest Quarterly Bus Statistics show that there were 4.38 billion passenger journeys on local bus services in England in the year ending March 2018, a 1.4% decrease when compared with a year earlier.

“This was largely driven by a 2.2% decrease in journeys in England outside London to 2.15 billion. In London journeys fell by 0.6% to 2.23 billion in the year ending March 2018.

“It is important to consider the fall in bus journeys in the context of a broader decline in trips. Data from the 2016 National Travel Survey (NTS) shows that in England trips per person excluding short walks have fallen 13% since 2002.

“There are a number of factors that may explain the fall in bus patronage on local bus services specifically. These include: congestion, levels of car ownership, increase in online shopping and reductions in local authority supported services.”