Fewer Trips Made On London Buses

23 September 2014, 11:51 | Updated: 23 September 2014, 11:54

Latest figures from the Department for Transport show the number of journeys being made by bus is falling.

Bus patronage is traditionally greater in the spring period of April to June than in the January to March winter months.

But there was a 1.3% dip in the number of bus passenger journeys made in England in spring 2014 than in winter 2014.

The fall even extended to the London market, with 591.7 million passenger journeys made on the capital's buses in spring 2014 compared with 604.7 million in winter 2014.

In total there were 1.17 million passenger journeys made on buses in England in April-June 2014 compared with nearly 1.86 million in January-March 2014. However, the 1.17 million figure was 0.4% up on the total for April-June 2103.

The Department for Transport said: "Bus passenger journeys in England increased by around 15% between 2004/05 and 2008/09, a period in which the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme was introduced.

"Growth was greater in London, with a smaller increase in the metropolitan areas outside London over this period. Since the year ending March 2009, passenger journeys have remained broadly flat, with continued growth in London offsetting a gradual decline in passenger numbers outside London."

Mick Cash, general secretary of transport union RMT, said: "With bus services being cut back and others threatened with total closure, it is no surprise to us that there has been a decline in usage.

''Growing numbers of people, particularly in rural areas, have ended up isolated as life-line bus services have been stripped away and as the private companies concentrate on the routes that they can extract the most money from.

"We have warned repeatedly that the cutting of grants and threats and restrictions to the free travel pass, combined with the drive for private profit, will continue to hack away at the provision of bus services and an escalation in transport poverty as those without cars are left abandoned. It is inevitable that bus passenger journeys will decline against that backdrop."