- Bus passengers save on average around £95 per month by leaving car at home
- Annual savings of more than £2,000 in Buchan
- 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.
Car drivers in the north-east have the potential to save up to £177 every month if they chose to switch to using the bus for their commute instead of the car.
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 taking the bus between:
Peterhead and Aberdeen instead of driving was around £2,000 a year cheaper (£177 a month cheaper).
Inverurie and Aberdeen instead of driving was around £1,416 a year cheaper (£123 a month cheaper).
Stonehaven and Aberdeen instead of driving was around £1,406 a year cheaper (£122 a month cheaper).
Banchory and Aberdeen instead of driving was around £1,509 a year cheaper (£131 a month cheaper).
Oldmeldrum and Aberdeen instead of driving was around £1473 a year cheaper (£128 a month cheaper).
Mark Whitelocks, Managing Director of Stagecoach North Scotland, said: “This research shows it’s still significantly cheaper to commute to work by bus for many people in the North Scotland region.
"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.
- £28.9 million spent on new buses and coaches across North Scotland in the last 5 years.