Get more people onto the bus, campaigners urge

The Campaign for Better Transport and Confederation of Passenger Transport have called on the next government to put policies designed to get more people onto the bus at the centre of their policy making.

The two campaign groups say that a renewed focus on buses will enable the industry and local authority partners to lead the way on the road to zero emissions and improve air quality in our towns and cities.

The priorities for government include: delivering a national bus strategy that has tackling congestion and providing more reliable journey times at its core; introducing a long term funding settlement so operators can invest with confidence in zero emission buses, multi operator daily and weekly price capped ticketing and reduced travel costs for job seekers and apprentices; and making passenger journeys faster and more reliable through ensuring bus-first policies feature in bids for local infrastructure funding.

Darren Shirley, chief executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said: "A National Bus Strategy, backed up by central government funding, can put the bus on the road to a brighter future and help reconnect communities, boost local economies and tackle the loneliness. Ensuring all buses are zero emission by 2035 will also improve air quality and help the UK hit its net zero target. It's now up to the next government to seize the opportunity to turn around the fortunes of communities up and down the country that rely on the bus."

Graham Vidler, chief executive of the Confederation of Passenger Transport, said: “As parties hit the campaign trail in earnest we want to hear them talking about their plans for buses and the millions of people who use them each day. The bus industry has led the way by setting out plans for more ultra-low and zero emission buses, simpler ticketing and discounted travel for job seekers and apprentices and we need the next government to work with us to deliver these and help many more people choose to use the bus.”

Buses carry more people than all other forms of public transport combined and by investing bus the next government has the opportunity to better connect people in cities, towns and villages with work, education and family and friends.