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Stagecoach still Britain’s best value major bus operator

05 May 2014

  • Independent research finds Stagecoach customers have lowest weekly bus costs
  • Bus travellers can save more than £300 a year by getting on board with Stagecoach
  • Stagecoach prices more than 50% cheaper than Transport for London fares
  • Bus company wins lowest weekly fares accolade for third successive time
  • Major survey of around 1,000 adult single, day and weekly bus fares
  • News follows Stagecoach boost for UK economy with £100m bus and coach order

Stagecoach has been confirmed as Britain’s best value major bus operator for the third successive time, according to new independent research.

Analysis published by transport specialists TAS*  found that Britain’s biggest bus operator provides regular passengers with the lowest cost weekly bus travel.

Stagecoach weekly travel is on average 12% lower than the next cheapest operator, more than 50% less than bus fares charged in the capital by Transport for London, and up to 60% better value than the most expensive major bus company.

TAS found a week’s travel with Stagecoach was on average just £12.50 – up to £7.45 a week cheaper than other major operators. It means that, even accounting for annual holidays, Stagecoach passengers could save more than £300 a year compared to other big bus companies.

The newly published TAS National Fares Survey 2013 concluded: "Stagecoach continues to offer the lowest fares compared to other operator groups in the UK regions outside London.”

The latest research findings come after TAS surveys in 2009 and 2011 found Stagecoach was leading the way in helping keep transport costs down for Britain’s commuters and other bus users.

The news also follows a major boost for British manufacturing by Stagecoach earlier this month after it unveiled record orders worth over £100million for nearly 570 new greener buses and coaches.

Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Martin Griffiths said: “We know times are tough, particularly for people on low incomes struggling with the cost of living. These are the people who depend on buses the most – whether it is getting to work, finding employment, accessing health, education and training, or spending leisure time with their families.

“We are proud of our extensive record as Britain’s best value bus operator. Stagecoach is also investing record sums in improving the quality of bus travel, helping support British manufacturing and jobs. At the same time, our bus companies are managed locally and they know their local communities.

“Low fares, major investment and a commitment to excellent customer service are why we have attracted more people to our bus services virtually every year for more than a decade.

Rising costs and public sector cuts all put pressure on prices, but we will continue to work hard to keep fares down and get more people across Britain back on board the bus.”

TAS carried out detailed analysis of nearly 1,000 adult, single, day and weekly bus fares for typical bus journeys of around three miles. In addition to Stagecoach, it checked fares set by the other major bus groups (Arriva, First, Go-Ahead, National Express and Transdev) as well as independents and municipal operators.

Comparison of average cost of weekly bus travel

Scroll table horizontally to view table content







National Express


















London (Transport for London)






Source: TAS National Fares Survey 2013

The TAS report also found that Stagecoach had:

  •  on average, among the cheapest day tickets on any major bus operator
  • the lowest absolute single fare in the city, inter-urban, PTE and shire town markets of any of the major groups or municipal operators
  • the lowest average single fares in the city, inter-urban, and shire town markets of any of the major groups.
  • City single fares on average up to 35% cheaper than other major groups
  • Inter-urban single tickets on average up to 25% less than other big bus companies
  • Single ticket prices in shire towns which on average were up to 20% lower than Britain’s other large bus providers

Stagecoach also operates a ground-breaking discounted bus travel scheme for jobseekers. The company launched the country’s first long-term nationwide initiative in February 2013, giving thousands of job seekers across the UK a 50% discount on their bus travel to help them find employment.

Research recently published by Passenger Focus found that for the second year in a row bus passengers using Stagecoach were more satisfied with their service than customers using other national UK operators.

Stagecoach has placed £545m of orders for new buses and coaches for its regional bus operations in the UK in the last seven years. The Group has also ordered more than £100million of new vehicles for its London bus operations since buying the business in 2010.

*TAS  analysed 994 adult, single, day and weekly bus fares for typical bus journeys of approximately 3 miles. Fares were surveyed between May and July 2013. All fares were taken to be peak versions and off-peak pricing was disregarded. TAS has used the ‘median’ average for its statistical analysis. This was done to remove extremes within the large dataset and achieve the closest proximity to an actual fare.