Residents across Warwickshire have been encouraged to find out more about the many benefits of bus travel this September.
Throughout September, Warwickshire County Council has been supporting Bus Users UK’s Catch the Bus Month 2023 and highlighting the many benefits of leaving the car at home and choosing public transport.
Buses are good for our health, good for the economy and good for the environment. According to Bus Users UK, prior to the pandemic, bus passengers boosted the UK economy by £64 billion each year, as well as reducing congestion, pollution, loneliness and social isolation.
Bus patronage in Warwickshire has steadily increased over the past year as the industry continues to recover from the pandemic and people regain confidence in using public transport and the Council is keen to see this growth continue.
A report recently went to Cabinet which set out the Council’s plan for improving services across the county, which included:
- Fully integrated bus services on the Warwickshire Bus Network;
- The availability of simple multi-bus operator tickets, multi-modal tickets and ‘tap on / tap off’ fare payment, like London;
- Bus priority measures on the local highway network;
- High quality and standardised information for all passengers;
- Better turn-up and go (demand responsive transport) service frequencies that keep running into the evening and at weekends;
- Increasing bus use through behaviour change activities that encourage modal shift; and
- Financial support for bus operators.
The Council has recently enjoyed success improving the take-up of the Stratford Park and Ride Service by over 74% over the summer months, which clearly demonstrates an appetite amongst the Warwickshire public for bus travel.
Cllr Jan Matecki, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Transport and Highways said: “While bus passenger numbers have noticeably increased since the pandemic, there is work to do in further increasing bus patronage to pre-pandemic levels and beyond.
“Our buses remain the most utilised public transport mode in the county and are a fantastic and viable option for travel across Warwickshire. Not only are they cost-effective for the traveller – and particularly right now with the £2 single adult fare cap pilot – when well-used, they are also much better for the environment as they reduce the numbers of cars on the roads. They also have a very positive effect on social inclusion, being accessible across all our diverse communities.”
Claire Walters, Chief Executive of Bus Users UK the charity behind Catch the Bus Month said: “Buses are a lifeline for millions and bring huge health, social and environmental benefits to us all. As the cost of living crisis continues to bite, we need affordable, sustainable transport more than ever so it’s great to see Warwickshire County Council celebrating these vital services and encouraging more people to get on board.”
Find out more about catch the bus month 2023: https://bususers.org/catchthebusmonth/
Find out more about the Warwickshire Bus Services Improvement Plan: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/news/article/4524/cabinet-supports-improving-bus-services-across-warwickshire
For more information about public transport in Warwickshire, visit: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/public-transport