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Study shows buses offer better value travel than commuting by car

29 Jan 2018

Bus passengers can save on average around £1200 per year by leaving car at home
Research coincides with national campaign highlighting value and flexibility of Stagecoach weekly tickets.
Unlimited 7-day bus travel available for around £2 per day

A new national study has shown that consumers can get better value for money by taking the bus instead of commuting by car. 

The research – carried out by Stagecoach - showed that people who use the bus to commute are on average £1,200 per year better off than those travelling to work by car.

The research was revealed as Stagecoach launches a nationwide campaign to highlight the value and flexibility offered through the company’s multi-journey weekly tickets, which offer unlimited travel for an average of just over £2 per day across the UK. 

Across the country, the average cost of a weekly megarider ticket – which can be used anytime within the local Stagecoach area over a seven day period – is less than £15. 

The study showed that bus travel costs are around 57% cheaper than the same commute by car, saving passengers an average of around £110 a month, according to the study.
The average annual savings of £1,259 would be enough to cover the entire annual energy costs for a three or four bedroom house*.

The latest 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 Scotland where bus passengers travelling between Ayr and Glasgow, and those travelling between Glenrothes and Edinburgh, could save around £2,800 a year compared to motorists.
In Greater Manchester, bus users travelling between Reddish and Manchester could be more than £900 a year better off.
In the South of England, bus travel between Worthing and Brighton was found to be more than £2,600 cheaper than going by car
Commuters in Wales who travel between Merthyr and Cardiff could save around £1,600 a year by switching to bus travel 

Mark Threapleton, Managing Director of Stagecoach UK Bus for England and Wales, 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, home improvements or more to put towards the monthly shopping budget.

“We work hard to deliver high quality services for the many people who rely on the bus, and our current campaign demonstrates the great value, unlimited travel we offer through our weekly tickets.” 

Stagecoach’s findings come as the latest Office of National Statistics research showed a 3% rise in the number of households that own a car or van between 2016 and 2017.**

However, research by campaign group Greener Journeys last year warned of the damaging impact of congestion within towns and cities across the UK. The research – by Professor David Begg – revealed that average traffic speeds in Britain’s busiest cities are set to fall to just 12mph by 2030 as traffic delays are expected to double over the next decade.***

Mark Threapleton added: “Unfortunately, along with other road users, our customers are being affected by the serious issue of traffic congestion which reduces the reliability of bus services, pushes up fares, reduces air quality and undermines the attractiveness of bus travel. 

“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 Stagecoach Bus App which offers journey planning, real-time bus tracking, next stop information and mobile ticketing. The company has also introduced contactless payments – along with Apple Pay and Google Pay - across more than half of its UK bus fleet, with the technology on schedule to be introduced across all operating companies this year.  

Stagecoach has invested more than £1billion in new vehicles for its operations over the past 11 years, with £70million invested in 350 new buses and coaches for local communities in the past year alone.