Stagecoach calls for funding to combat congestion and air quality crisis

News stories are free to read. Click here for full access to all the features, articles and archive from only £2.99.

Stagecoach has called for councils to reinvest profits from car parking into tackling the growing congestion and air quality crisis in the UK.

Statistics published by the RAC revealed that in England, profits from on-street and off-street car parking have risen by 32% over the past four years, whilst this year in Wales the surplus was up 3% in its fifth consecutive annual increase.

The statistics for Scotland have not yet been released, however last year saw a 6% increase in profits.

Stagecoach noted that whilst the councils’ car parking profits have seen a year-on-year increase, local authorities’ funding for buses has contrastingly seen a significant decrease.

Buses account for around 60% of all public transport journeys, with five billion journeys made by bus in Britain each year, yet data published by the Campaign for Better Transport showed that in 2017-18 bus services in England and Wales saw cuts of £20.5m. This is the eighth year in a row that services have seen a reduction in investments.

Mark Threapleton, Managing Director of Stagecoach UK Bus, said: “Towns and cities across Britain are facing a congestion and air quality crisis, which is damaging the health of our bus networks, the health of our economy and the health of individuals.

“These figures show that councils are making huge profits from car parking every year, but instead of that money being reinvested in measures to help bus passengers and encourage modal shift to sustainable bus travel, bus budgets are being slashed.”