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05 Jul 2016
Stagecoach South West is joining forces with sustainable transport group Greener Journeys to promote the benefits of bus use through the fourth annual ‘Catch the Bus Week’.
The campaign, which takes place from 4-10 July, aims to drive awareness of the benefits of taking the bus and encourage local people to make the switch from the car that week and consider leaving the car at home for some journeys in the future.
Stagecoach South West, along with Greener Journeys, which is spearheading the campaign, and hundreds of other participants all over the country – including bus companies, passenger organisations and local authorities – will be promoting the many benefits of bus travel through competitions, bus road shows and on board entertainment.
During Catch the Bus Week 2016, Stagecoach will be partnering with Plymouth City Council and local bus operators to launch Skipper 1 and 4 week season tickets which allow passengers to travel anywhere in Plymouth, with any operator . The new weekly ticket costs £18.30 for an adult and £14 for a child (up to and including the age of 18) and the new 4-week tickets cost £65.60 for an adult and £47.60 for a child. The existing Skipper day ticket is also still available and costs £4.20 for an adult and £3.10 for a child.
All Skipper season tickets are issued on smartcards available from www.stagecoachbus.com and on any Stagecoach South West bus service. You can buy them from the Plymouth Citybus website and their Travelshop on Royal Parade in Plymouth.
Commenting on the launch Bob Dennison, Managing Director of Stagecoach South West, said; “Skipper is a fantastic example of what can be achieved when transport partners work together. I hope the introduction of the 1 and 4 week ticket options will encourage many more people onto local bus services.”
Research carried out by Stagecoach earlier this year looked at the cost of 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. South West commuters travelling between Torquay and Exeter could save more than £1,000 a year by leaving the car at home and taking the bus.
Stagecoach has three times been independently found to have the best value bus fares in Britain and a recent survey carried out by consumer group Transport Focus found that bus passengers rated Stagecoach as the best value major operator in the country.
Revenue from fares is re-invested in new vehicles and improvements for customers. In early 2016 Stagecoach launched 26 new vehicles for its Plymouth routes, representing an investment of £5 million. The majority of buses also feature free Wi-Fi, allowing customers to connect, share and play on the move.
The economic benefits of the bus are manifold. They are a vital driver of economic growth in the UK. Every £1 invested in bus infrastructure generates up to £7 of economic benefit.[i] In total, bus users generates £64 billion of benefits to the UK economy[ii] whereas congestion costs the UK economy at least £11 million each year[iii].
Buses also deliver a surprising amount of health benefits. Travelling by bus is a third less stressful than commuting by car[iv]. Taking the bus also frees your hands and you head, allowing you to read a book or play games on your mobile- all whilst you get to your destination. And, of course, walking to the bus stop can, on average, help you to achieve half of the Government’s recommended 30 minutes of exercise per day[v].
Environmental benefits are also substantial. If everyone switched just one car journey a month to the bus, there would be one billion fewer car journeys on our roads and a saving of 2 million tonnes of CO2[vi]. In 2015, low carbon emission buses saved nearly 70,000 tonnes of CO2 compared with their standard diesel equivalents[vii]. Buses are also vital to improving air quality and the latest models deliver a 95% reduction in NOx emissions compared with 2009 bus models[viii].
[i] Greener Journeys, A Roadmap to Growth, 2015
[ii] Office of National Statistics, Driving licence holding and vehicle availability, 2012
[iii] Office of National Statistics, Driving licence holding and vehicle availability, 2012
[iv] Research commissioned by Greener Journeys, conducted by Dr David Lewis of the University of Sussex, September 2010
[v] Research commissioned by Greener Journeys, conducted by Dr David Lewis of Mind Lab International, September 2011
[vi] Greener Journeys, The Road to a Carbon Efficient Britain, 2009
[vii] Research commissioned by Greener Journeys, conducted by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, February 2016
[viii] Research commissioned by Greener Journeys, conducted by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, February 2016