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 percent cheaper than the same commute by car, saving passengers an average of around £95 a month, according to the study.
The study also found in the north-east of England, taking the bus between South Shields and Newcastle was 73 percent cheaper than driving. 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 percent of people saying they were concerned about congestion and 60 percent 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.
Steve Walker, Managing Director of Stagecoach North East, said: “This research shows it’s still significantly cheaper to commute to work by bus for many people across the north east. 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:
- Contactless payments launched on Stagecoach services in the north east of England, with the technology to be available at all Stagecoach bus companies by 2018.
- 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.
- More than £1billion spent on new buses and coaches for the UK in the last 10 years.