Bus

Bus crossing tram lines
The bus is the UK's main form of public transport. Find out more about how the industry works, the case for investing in bus and what we are doing to make bus services better

Resources

The Good Life: The role of transport in shaping a new and sustainable era for suburbs

July, 2022

We are a nation of suburbanites. However, the ubiquity of suburban living is often not reflected in transport policy. And there can be no decarbonisation of transport without specific measures to decarbonise transport in the suburbs.

This report presents four foundations of suburbs for a new era – one which offers all suburbanites the promise of the ‘Good Life’ whilst addressing the climate crisis. These foundations should help people to access more of what they need locally; provide family-friendly sustainable transport choices: prioritise gentle densification around sustainable transport infrastructure; and provide reliable, convenient connections to the nearest town or city and key employment sites.

Allowing non-physical guided transport modes to be authorised by a Transport and Works Act order

May, 2022
Our response to a DfT consultation seeking changes in planning legislation to allow for the use of non-physical guidance systems in orders made under the Transport and Works Act. Non-physical guided transport modes could include simple sensor systems to detect road markings and direct a vehicle or more complex guidance systems such as those that read the surrounding environment to direct a vehicle.
Consulting body: 
Department for Transport

Strategic analysis of current bus safety issues

February, 2022

This report from the Transport Safety Research Centre at Loughborough University reviews the regulatory framework for bus safety in England outside London and makes comparisons with the safety regime in place both elsewhere and for other modes. It also includes the findings from interviews with Local Transport Authorities and other key bodies on their experience of the current bus safety regime. The report finds there is a strong case for significant reform including around standards and the organisation and resourcing of leadership and oversight on bus safety.

Topic: 

Continuing COVID Funding Support for Urban Public Transport

February, 2022

This report finds that if Government’s Covid-related financial support to urban public transport outside London ends (in March 2022), buses would soon be less frequent and more expensive, and patronage would be substantially lower than pre-Covid levels, potentially up to 30% lower.

Further financial support however would halt the decline of bus (and light rail) patronage and has the potential to get patronage levels back towards their pre-pandemic levels. It would also create the opportunity for Government to reform its approach to supporting public transport funding so it can be used to the best effect.

The report recommends that the Government’s Covid-related support to urban public transport is maintained for at least a further 12 months.

 

Pages

Bus Policy

November, 2020
This updated briefing looks at why buses matter and how bus policy works. It explains the significant challenges facing the sector (including the COVID-19 pandemic) and how city regions are backing the bus. It also sets out how the 2017 Bus Services Act could help make bus services better.
Topic: 

Multi-Operator Ticket Comparison 2019

July, 2019
This document provides comparative analysis of bus operator fares and multi-operator ticket fareas across Urban Transport Group member areas and a range of comparators. This information was collected in June 2019 and was correct at the time of research. Bus fares change regularly and it is likely that some of the fares are out of date, however, this is intended as a snap shot analysis and should be treated as such.
Topic: 

Bus Fares Research 2019

July, 2019
This briefing provides a summary of bus fares from the main operators across Urban Transport Group member areas. Bus fare information was collected in June 2019 and was correct at the time of research. Bus fares are updated regularly so it is likely that some of the fares have already changes, however, this document is a snap shot analysis and should be treated as such.
Topic: 

Pages

The Good Life: The role of transport in shaping a new and sustainable era for suburbs

July, 2022

We are a nation of suburbanites. However, the ubiquity of suburban living is often not reflected in transport policy. And there can be no decarbonisation of transport without specific measures to decarbonise transport in the suburbs.

This report presents four foundations of suburbs for a new era – one which offers all suburbanites the promise of the ‘Good Life’ whilst addressing the climate crisis. These foundations should help people to access more of what they need locally; provide family-friendly sustainable transport choices: prioritise gentle densification around sustainable transport infrastructure; and provide reliable, convenient connections to the nearest town or city and key employment sites.

Strategic analysis of current bus safety issues

February, 2022

This report from the Transport Safety Research Centre at Loughborough University reviews the regulatory framework for bus safety in England outside London and makes comparisons with the safety regime in place both elsewhere and for other modes. It also includes the findings from interviews with Local Transport Authorities and other key bodies on their experience of the current bus safety regime. The report finds there is a strong case for significant reform including around standards and the organisation and resourcing of leadership and oversight on bus safety.

Topic: 

Continuing COVID Funding Support for Urban Public Transport

February, 2022

This report finds that if Government’s Covid-related financial support to urban public transport outside London ends (in March 2022), buses would soon be less frequent and more expensive, and patronage would be substantially lower than pre-Covid levels, potentially up to 30% lower.

Further financial support however would halt the decline of bus (and light rail) patronage and has the potential to get patronage levels back towards their pre-pandemic levels. It would also create the opportunity for Government to reform its approach to supporting public transport funding so it can be used to the best effect.

The report recommends that the Government’s Covid-related support to urban public transport is maintained for at least a further 12 months.

 

Back the Bus to Level Up

September, 2021

This report makes the case for bus revenue funding and reform of how it is provided. 

It aims to arrive at a realistic assessment of the revenue funding that will be needed to support the ambitious transformation in bus services envisaged by the National Bus Strategy. It also looks at how the way in which funding is provided could be reformed in order to offer better value for public money and enable it to be targeted in the most effective way locally.

The report:

  • Reviews the overall case for revenue support for bus.
  • Uses our Metropolitan Bus Model to test different revenue funding scenarios for their impact on service levels, fares and patronage.
  • Makes the case for reform of the way in which revenue support for buses is provided.

Building back better on urban transport

June, 2021

As the network of transport authorities serving the largest city regions in England, we worked together to keep the wheels of public transport turning during the lockdown so that key workers could get to where they needed to be.

In this paper we set out how, with the right policy framework from Government, we can meet the challenge of ramping up public transport and prioritising cycling and walking to support a green and just recovery.

(Updated version June 2021)

The Covid-19 Funding Gap: The Case for Continuing Support for Urban Public Transport

September, 2020

This report, produced by transport consultancy Steer for the Urban Transport Group, warns that the future of local public transport services is at serious risk without continued COVID-19 financial support from Government.

It highlights how Government support allowed public transport to continue during the national lockdown (enabling key workers to travel to and from work) and to provide a more comprehensive service at lower socially distanced vehicle capacity following the end of the lockdown.

But the report paints a stark picture for both bus and light rail systems should this support be withdrawn prematurely.

How bus users spend their journey time

November, 2019

This research - conducted by transport consultancy SYSTRA on behalf of the Urban Transport Group - uncovers valuable insights into how passengers spend their time while travelling by bus, and sets out the implications for future bus design and promotion.

The research was based on surveys of over 1,100 people on two different bus routes in Leeds and Nottingham. The two routes both provide a high frequency service and operate with double decker buses with leather seats, WiFi and USB ports - some of the best on-board facilities available. However, the profile of passengers between the two routes was somewhat different, with passengers in Leeds tending to be older, working or retired, whilst a higher proportion of respondents in Nottingham were students, due to the bus route travelling along the university corridor.

Topic: 

What scope for boosting bus use? An analysis of the Intrinsic Bus Potential of local authority areas in England

October, 2019

This research, by Transport for Quality of Lifeidentifies the underlying conditions that best predict levels of bus use in local areas. It points to six conditions which, when combined, are used to define the ‘Intrinsic Bus Potential’ (IBP) of a local authority area. These include the Index of Multiple Deprivation, the proportion of students, and rush-hour traffic travel times. 

The report also identifies additional factors which may explain why some areas exceed expectations with higher levels of bus use than predicted, such as a pre-existing culture of bus use, high levels of bus provision, and local factors such as poor rail connectivity.

The research has a number of important implications, including the need for radical change on bus policy to enable more areas to do significantly better on bus patronage. 

Topic: 

What next for urban transport?

September, 2019

This report - published to coincide with the 2019 Autumn Party Conferences - identifies four urban transport challenges and four solutions needed to overcome them.

It also details what transport authorities need from Government to bring about these changes. 

On launching the report, Stephen Edwards, Chair of the Urban Transport Group and Executive Director of South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, said: "There is much more that needs to be done if transport is to contribute effectively to meeting the many challenges that city regions face, from the climate crisis to public health challenges associated with a lack of physical activity. The right policies can help overcome these challenges."

Number crunch 2019: Urban transport trends in changing times

June, 2019

We are living in rapidly changing times. Big shifts are taking place in urban transport trends.

Number crunch 2019 is the second in our Number crunch report series and provides an updated overview of the key trends over the last ten years, as well as taking a look at what the new and most recent data is telling us. The report also investigates some new issues – including housing need and social inclusion.

In these changing times, the case for coordinated and integrated transport planning at the city region level is stronger than ever. So is the case for long term funding frameworks for local urban transport rather than stop-start funding as is currently the case.

Pages

Allowing non-physical guided transport modes to be authorised by a Transport and Works Act order

May, 2022
Our response to a DfT consultation seeking changes in planning legislation to allow for the use of non-physical guidance systems in orders made under the Transport and Works Act. Non-physical guided transport modes could include simple sensor systems to detect road markings and direct a vehicle or more complex guidance systems such as those that read the surrounding environment to direct a vehicle.
Consulting body: 
Department for Transport

Submission to the Comprehensive Spending Review 2021

September, 2021
This is our submission to HM Treasury's Comprehensive Spending Review 2021. In our submission, we warn Government that wider objectives for carbon reduction and levelling up (as well as the specific objectives of the national active travel and bus strategies) cannot be met without increased spending on local transport. Indeed, without additional funding bus patronage (and bus network size) are likely to remain at levels well below what they were pre-pandemic (when patronage and network size were already at an all-time low). To fully realise the benefits of enhanced, devolved and longer term funding for local transport we need city region transport authorities which are fully empowered to take decisions across the modes in a way which reflects local circumstances and aspirations.
Consulting body: 
HM Treasury

Submission to the Comprehensive Spending Review 2020

September, 2020
This is our submission to HM Treasury's Comprehensive Spending Review 2020. In our submission, we call upon the Government to move on from its current 'patch and mend’ approach to closing the COVID-19 funding gap for public transport towards longer-term, secure arrangements. We argue that this should form the basis for wider reforms of the funding and powers of city region transport authorities. In practice, this would mean providing long-term funding packages for local transport similar to those already in place for national rail and roads, as well as upgrading the powers of city region transport authorities so they are more in line with those in London. This would ensure that transport authorities are fully empowered and funded to meet the challenge of a green and just recovery from COVID-19.
Consulting body: 
HM Treasury

Pages

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Bus