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02 Feb 2017
• Bus passengers save on average around £95 per month by leaving car at home
• Biggest annual savings of more than £2,800 found in West Scotland
• Stagecoach survey of around 35 key commuter routes in England, Scotland and Wales
• Warning that traffic congestion will continue to push fares up unless it is tackled by local authorities
New national research has found that people who use the bus to commute are on average £1,000 better off than those travelling to work by car.
Despite lower fuel prices, bus travel costs are around 55% cheaper than the same commute by car, saving passengers an average of around £95 a month, according to the study.
The average annual savings of £1095 would be enough to cover the entire annual energy costs for a medium-sized house*.
The news comes as further research shows that people’s worries about congestion and its impact on pollution are growing, with 55% of people saying they were concerned about congestion and 60% saying they were concerned about exhaust fumes in towns and cities.**
Research by Stagecoach, Britain's biggest bus and coach operator, covered around 35 key commuter routes in England, Scotland and Wales. It compared the weekly price of hopping on the bus with the cost of fuel and car parking for the same journeys.
The study found:
• The biggest savings were in the West of Scotland where bus passengers travelling between Ayr and Glasgow could save more than £2,800 a year compared to motorists.
• In the North-east of England, taking the bus between South Shields and Newcastle was 73% cheaper than driving
• Commuters in Merseyside travelling between Heswall and Liverpool could save more than £1,400 a year month by switching to bus travel
• In Greater Manchester, bus users travelling between Reddish and Manchester could be more than £740 a year better off.
• South West commuters travelling between Torquay and Exeter could save more than £1,200 a year by leaving the car at home and taking the bus.
• In the South of England, bus travel between Worthing and Brighton was found to be more than £2,400 cheaper than going by car
• In Scotland taking the bus between Peterhead and Aberdeen instead of driving was around £2,000 a year cheaper.
• Commuters in Wales who travel between Merthyr and Cardiff could save around £1,600 a year by switching to bus travel
Robert Montgomery, Managing Director of Stagecoach UK Bus, said: “This research shows it’s still significantly cheaper to commute to work by bus for many people up and down the country.
"The average savings could pay for a family holiday, or increase the monthly shopping budget.
“We are working hard to deliver good value travel for the many people who rely on the bus. However, bus passengers need urgent action from our politicians to tackle the growing problem of traffic congestion in our towns and cities which is pushing up fares and increasing journey times.
“We are investing in continued improvements for our customers but we need those responsible for road infrastructure to match that commitment by freeing up road space to let buses flourish.”
Stagecoach has made a series of investments to help transform bus travel for customers, including:
- the new ‘Stagecoach Bus’ smartphone app which provides customers with journey planning, next-stop information and live bus tracking, and enables people to buy and download bus tickets straight to their mobile phone.
- Smart ticketing at all Stagecoach regional companies with more than two million StagecoachSmart cards in circulation and more than 330million smart transactions every year.
- Multi-operator smart ticketing in all of England’s city regions, benefitting around 15million people, and in several key areas of Scotland, delivered in partnership with other UK bus operators.
- Contactless payments launched on Stagecoach services in Oxfordshire and the north east of England, with the technology to be available at all Stagecoach bus companies by 2018.
- A commitment to work with the UK’s major bus operators on an ambitious scheme that could see contactless travel introduced on every one of the UK’s 32,000-plus buses outside London by 2022.
- More than £1billion spent on new buses and coaches for the UK in the last 10 years.
The study assessed the cost of making the journey daily by car, taking into account only the cost of fuel, parking and any toll road payments – no other costs associated with car ownership were included. The survey then compared the motoring cost with the cost of purchasing a weekly multi-journey ticket on Stagecoach buses which allows unlimited travel on Stagecoach services within the designated area. The results are based on an average saving calculated across 35 commuter routes in the UK. Individual savings will vary. Fuel prices recorded between 9-16 January 2017. Monthly and annual savings calculated on Weekly Megarider purchases over 46 weeks of the year.
Results of the study can be accessed here.
** British Social Attitudes Survey - https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/british-social-attitudes-survey-2015