Its been reported that the amount of people using buses in England each year has fallen to its lowest level in a decade – down to 4.38 billion passenger journeys across the country in 2016/17!
You may have recently read in the local media, that local bus prices recently increased, with the price for a single ticket going up by around 3.5%?
You might like to know that fares increased by 1% in London, which I presume relates to the high usage of the services?
Given the anticipated population growth in Peterborough in the coming years and the increase in properties being built, I believe there’s never been a better time to get a proper (and effective) transport infrastructure plan enacted in our city!
What’s the problem?
A decline in bus passenger journeys could have an impact on increased congestion and poorer air quality in our local communities as well as leaving those who rely on the bus network unsupported.
Under this Tory Government, central government funding to councils is set to be further cut in half over the next 2 years and almost phased out completely by the end of the decade!
What could be done?
The Tories in Whitehall could give councils control over the Bus Service Operators’ Grant, a fuel duty rebate currently paid directly to bus operators, which would enable councils to protect vital bus routes, and have the funding they need to provide an effective and efficient bus service.
My final thoughts
Buses provide a vital service for our communities and a lifeline for our most vulnerable residents to go shopping, pick up medication, attend doctor appointments or socialise with friends.
Whilst the Tories at the Town Hall in Peterborough may be wealthy enough to drive everywhere they wish, many of us in the city do not have a car, and therefore realise how important buses are for our residents and local economies, and I for one am desperate to protect them.
I have now requested data from Stagecoach, to show me exactly what the state of play has been in Peterborough over the last year or so, and specifically in relation to Gunthorpe and Werrington. Once I have it I will of course share it.
- Figures on bus passenger journeys are sourced from the DfT Quarterly Bus Statistics.
- Government projections indicate that by 2040, there will be a 55% rise in traffic and 86% rise in congestion.