Bus journeys down as public asked for views on future of transport

March 01 2019
Bus journeys down as public asked for views on future of transport

BUS passengers took 112,000 fewer journeys in South Gloucestershire last year, new figures reveal.

The Department for Transport data found that in the year to last March, there were 9.88 million passenger journeys in South Gloucestershire, 1.1% less than in the previous year.

This is despite South Gloucestershire Council financially supporting 30 services in areas where there would otherwise be no coverage.

Services it supports in the Thornbury area include the 77, T1 and T2 services to Bristol and the 411 from Severn Beach to Marlwood and Castle schools.

A council spokesperson said: “We currently support a wide range of bus services. This includes services which are entirely funded by the council and others which are commercial services that receive top up funding for part of the service for instance evenings or bank holidays.

We currently support 30 bus services in areas where there would otherwise be no service or a more limited route/timetable.”

The figures show that despite the recent dip, bus use has increased over the last eight years, with the number of passenger journeys in South Gloucestershire increasing by 36% since 2009-10, when figures were first recorded.

And the West of England Combined Authority has now launched a consultation to try and ensure that future plans for the region’s transport system reflect public needs.

Between now and March 20, residents are being asked to tell the authority, which has overall responsibility for the region’s transport provision, where they think it should be investing between now and 2036.

It has launched an online survey asking people to allocate ‘points’ to the areas they think it should prioritise, including a mass transit network, expansion of Metrobus, new and improved railway stations, road and motorway improvements, new charges and more park and ride sites.

West of England Mayor Tim Bowles said: “This is an ambitious plan to keep people moving and tackle congestion, whilst supporting economic growth.

It considers a wide range of options to support sustainable travel including rail, bus, cycling, walking, mass and rapid transit and electric vehicles.”

The survey can be accessed online at bit.ly/2tomtMi. Anyone without internet access can contact WECA on 0117 428 6210 for more information.

Across England, there were 85 million fewer bus journeys last year, a drop of 3.2% outside London and 0.7% in the capital.