Transport Focus unveils Bus Passenger Survey

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The latest bus passenger survey from Transport Focus has been released, with passengers stating that they are ‘generally content with their service,’ though value for money ratings and satisfaction with punctuality vary widely across the country.

In the survey of more than 40,000 passengers by the independent watchdog, 86% of all passengers were satisfied with their local bus service.

Some services were less consistent on measures like reliably running to time or providing a value for money service.

Fare paying passenger satisfaction with value for money ranged from 41% (Milton Keynes) to 80% (Blackpool) averaging 63%, with a gulf of 39 percentage points between the highest and lowest area scores.

David Sidebottom, Passenger Director of Transport Focus, said: “We know there are increasingly significant challenges facing bus operations in some town and city centres due to increased traffic congestion.

“Satisfaction with punctuality ranged from 64% (Essex) to 84% (North-East Lincolnshire, Gloucestershire, averaging 75%, which is down from the 2014 figure of 77%.

“Passengers tell us that they want a bus service which is punctual, reliable and offers value for money. Such a wide range of value for money and punctuality scores across the country shows there is still room for improvement.

“With lots of debate and decisions being made about how bus services up and down the country are run, we hope that government, transport authorities and bus companies work together to use these findings to improve the things that matter most for passengers – a consistent, punctual, reliable and value for money bus service.”

Commenting on the Survey findings, CPT’s Chief Executive Simon Posner said: “Once again this important annual Survey has shown that passengers – the people who really matter – have given a ringing endorsement to their bus services. Achieving an overall satisfaction rate of 86% would be the envy of many industries and bus operators can be justifiably proud of their record.

“Once again, these high scores have been achieved by working closely with local authorities and stakeholders proving once again that the partnership approach works.

“This figure is a slight reduction on last year’s, which is disappointing, but it is important to identify the reasons. Concerns over punctuality and journey times largely account for the reduced overall figure. This can easily be explained. Traffic congestion is now a major problem and bus operators face a daily battle to adhere to timetables.

“But achieving an 86% satisfaction rate demonstrates that despite these issues, bus operators continue to deliver for their passengers.

“These latest Survey results show that Britain’s bus industry continues to deliver for its customers.  The prospect of new Government legislation in England during the coming year will offer its own challenges to the industry but bus operators will remain focussed on the number one priority – providing passengers with the bus services they need and deserve.”