Bus Services after the Spending Review - Transport Committee Contents

Annex: the value of bus services

The following quotes are comments given by witnesses about the benefits of local bus services.

Mr R and Mrs J Wilkes, North Yorkshire: "We think buses are seriously undervalued: twice as many people travel on buses every day as travel by train. Many decision makers do not seem to realise this and act as if buses are just for the rump of non-car owners."

Arriva: "65% of Arriva's services—and it will be similar to the industry as a whole—are journeys to work, to college or taking people to the high street to shop".

Mr K Gregory, Somerset: "The importance of local bus services to my wife and I, and many other non car owners, is total. We are in our later seventies and, for medical reasons, I gave up driving some six/seven years ago making buses and trains our/my sole form of transport."

Association of Colleges: "72% of students travel to College by bus".

Mrs H Oliver, Somerset: "There are a lot of people, especially those over 60 years, who never learnt to drive, live in villages and rural areas and are therefore reliant on public transport."

pteg: "The bus is relied upon by the poorest groups in society: 52% of households in the lowest real income quintile do not have access to a car. This figure is even higher (64%) for Job Seekers Allowance claimants."

M Rushmere, North Yorkshire: "The Dales and District service number 70 that runs between Ripon and Northallerton enables my wife and I to get to the shops, attend doctors appointments, visit our banks and building societies, and the post office amongst other facilities."

Campaign for National Parks: "Local bus services are vital for the economic and social well being of communities living within the National Parks, especially as these contain a higher than average proportion of older people, not all of whom can afford or are physically able to drive a car, but also of young people working in less well paid jobs within the tourist industry who also rely on threatened evening and Sunday services for employment, educational and social opportunities."

G Oldfield, Norwich: "I am severely disabled and am unable to walk very far—only a few yards. Fortunately I have a Blue badge and a concessionary bus pass for the city Park and Ride. I use the Park and Ride two to three times a week".

pteg: "Buses can reduce congestion, emissions and accidents. The cost to society of car use in congested urban areas has been estimated at above £1/km, which, for a typical 5km urban journey, is ten times higher than the current level of bus subsidy per trip (around 50p in metropolitan areas)."

Kingsdon Parish Council: "The aged in small rural communities are very dependent on public transport where the village has lost its post office and in many cases has lost the village shop or closure is imminent. To these people this service is a life line."

Campaign for Better Transport: "Disabled people use buses more often than non-disabled people, and are less likely to have the choice to take a car".

Mr N Thompson, North Yorkshire: "The weekend services into the Yorkshire Dales are extremely well used by walkers in particular. These buses play an important role in keeping cars off the road, thus reducing pollution."

O Lambert, Somerset: "Many people of my mother's age (60's) are widowed and are entirely reliant on buses to get from a to b as they have never driven and are now not in a position to learn. [...] My mother derives great pleasure from a change of scenery and the opportunity to go somewhere else for the day. The alternative is being stuck in a village day in day out."

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Prepared 11 August 2011