LONDON, June 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
Responding to today's announcement from the Local Government Association (LGA) which claims that nearly half of all bus routes are under threat due to local government funding cuts, Simon Posner, Chief Executive of the CPT, said:
"Figures produced by the Department for Transport show that 86.6% of bus mileage in England outside London is operated on a purely commercial basis with only 13.4% of total mileage receiving support from public funds.
"Local authorities continue to face severe pressure on their budgets and have to make difficult and sometimes unpopular choices when deciding which services to support. There are plenty of examples across the country of bus operators stepping in to continue to run services which, whilst not commercially viable, are necessary to keep passengers moving and provide a lifeline for the communities they serve. And in the most recent Transport Focus Bus Passenger Satisfaction survey, passengers gave a ringing endorsement to their local bus service with a satisfaction rate of 88%."
Mr Posner continued:
"It is not just cuts to local authority budgets which are having a detrimental effect on local bus services. The number one issue impacting on bus use and the availability of services across the country remains that of congestion. There are also many other factors currently affecting bus passenger numbers, including modern working patterns and lifestyles, an overall reduction in visits to the high street and the huge increase in online shopping.
"Evidence continues to show that where bus operators and local authorities work together in partnership, passengers benefit from more stable services and lower fares. Private operators have invested many millions of pounds on new vehicles and the UK now has the youngest ever bus fleet with an average vehicle age of less than 8 years. The buses on the road today are the cleanest and most environmentally friendly we have ever seen.
"Through working together, operators and local authorities can make bus travel even more attractive to passengers, thereby helping to reduce congestion and improve local air quality, as well as providing a catalyst to unlocking further investment. This is already happening in many towns and cities across the UK, giving passengers the services they need and deserve."
NOTES TO EDITORS
- The Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT) is the national trade association representing bus and coach operators.
- For more detailed information or comment, please contact Christopher Nice or Pauline Gaunt on 020-7240-3131 or 07798 765473.
- For radio interviews CPT has an ISDN line, 020-7379-6469.
SOURCE Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT)