TAS report highlights bus spending cuts

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Spending on buses has reportedly fallen by £474m in real cash terms since 2010

A new report on the way in which demand, costs and supply for the bus industry are determined has been published by passenger transport specialists TAS – a new edition of The Economics of Bus Operation.

The 87-page document is designed to provide a clear understanding of the issue of the market for bus services, and the influences upon it.

The topics covered include:

  • Costs of operation;
  • The levels of revenue needed both to meet operator financial obligations and invest in the future;
  • The principal drivers of demand for bus services;
  • The competitive environment in which the industry operates;
  • Trends in fare levels;
  • A look at the different types of public spending on buses; and
  • How and why the performance of the industry varies between different areas and different markets.

The report highlights the reductions in public spending on buses across Great Britain which have occurred since 2010, which now total over a half a billion pounds a year after adjusting for inflation (£474m in cash terms).

Report author Chris Cheek said, “We hope that this independent analysis will help the non-specialist to understand the complexity of the issues and how they all interact.

“Ultimately, the community has the pay the cost of providing the bus services it wants: as Alastair Darling once remarked, public transport has only two sources of income – the farebox and the taxpayer.

“It is a harsh reality that one or other has to pay, or services will be reduced to the levels which are affordable. To pretend otherwise is to mislead both policymakers and voters.”