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Traffic congestion having a major impact on bus passenger satisfaction

28 Mar 2017

  • Customer satisfaction with on-bus journey time, punctuality and waiting time affected by congestion according to latest independent study
  • Stagecoach rated top on value for money for fourth consecutive year
  • High levels of satisfaction among Stagecoach customers
  • Calls for politicians to take urgent action on growing congestion crisis

Independent research has shown that the crippling issue of traffic congestion is significantly impacting satisfaction levels among bus customers in the UK.

The survey by consumer watchdog Transport Focus found that bus passengers in Scotland are generally satisfied overall with their bus journeys, however the survey showed that satisfaction rates with waiting times, punctuality and on-bus journey times are being affected by congestion.

Across the UK, the annual research found that Britain’s biggest bus operator Stagecoach was rated higher than any other national bus operator for value for money for the fourth year in a row with a score of 68%. 

In East Scotland, Stagecoach operations recorded scores of 93% for overall satisfaction – against an industry average of 90%. 

The results show that, in Scotland, 9 out of 10 Stagecoach passengers reported being satisfied with their overall journey.  However since 2014, passenger satisfaction with punctuality has dropped from 87% to 79%, while satisfaction with journey time has reduced from 90% to 86%.

Acting General Manager, Jon Oakey said: “Our customers continue to be satisfied with us as an operator and we have again been rated as offering the best value for money of any major bus company.

“Despite our continued best efforts, the statistics clearly show that traffic congestion is having an increasingly damaging impact on passenger satisfaction, and undermining the attractiveness of bus travel. We need urgent action now from the politicians who have the ability to do something about it, to tackle traffic congestion, improve air quality and show they are on the side of the millions of bus passengers across the country.”

The survey results also showed:

  • The number of people using Stagecoach services to travel to and from work has risen by 5% since 2013, to 36%
  • 14% of Stagecoach customers in Scotland said they chose to travel by bus as it was more convenient than taking the car
  • 91% of Stagecoach customers with a disability in Scotland said they were satisfied with the overall experience
  • Stagecoach companies operating in 5 regions across the UK, were found to have overall satisfaction levels above 90% - Stagecoach in Lincolnshire, Stagecoach in Nottinghamshire, Stagecoach East Scotland in both the SESTran and TACTran areas and Stagecoach West Scotland in the SWESTrans area.

Stagecoach East Scotland has made a series of improvements 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 several key areas of Scotland, delivered in partnership with other UK bus operators.
  • 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 £28million spent on new buses and coaches for the East of Scotland in the last 5 years.