Four out of ten adults say bus service funding should be ‘a top priority’

A survey suggests investment in buses is one of the main three transport spending priorities after the General Election.

Four out of ten adults say bus service funding should be ‘a top priority’ iStock

Funding for bus services is among the public’s top priorities, a survey suggests.

More than four out of ten (42%) adults want investment in the sector to be a top priority for the next government, a poll commissioned by trade association the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) indicated.

CPT analysis of UK Treasury figures shows less than 10% of transport spending is allocated to bus services.

The survey suggested support for investment in buses, as one of the main three transport spending priorities after the General Election, is highest among Labour voters (48%), households with no access to a car (48%) and voters aged over 65 (46%).

More than half (56%) of those polled who want the next government to focus on bus funding consider more frequent services to be most important, while a similar proportion (54%) want fares to continue to be subsidised.

In Britain, some 58% of public transport journeys are made by bus.

CPT director of policy and external relations, Alison Edwards, said: “Buses are the nation’s most affordable, accessible and popular form of public transport – carrying over 10 million people a day.

“But spending is way below what many voters clearly think it should be.

“Our latest polling shows that people want to see more frequent buses, fares kept low and more new routes.

“Among those who want the next government to prioritise spending on buses, those three things also matter significantly more to them than changing who runs the buses.

“The polling also highlights how, if the next government invests to improve services, many people will use the bus more often.”

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross has urged the Scottish Government to cap bus fare journeys at £2. The scheme is currently in effect for single journeys south of the border, excluding London, and is so far expected to run until the end of 2024.

Scottish Labour said it was committed to seeing locally controlled and owned bus services, with capped fares and integrated travel systems across the country’s towns and cities.

Mark Ruskell, the Scottish Greens’ Climate, Energy, Environment, Food and Farming spokesperson added: “It should be clear to any politician who has paid attention that greener, cheaper and reliable bus services are a priority for communities up and down the country.

“That is why the Scottish Greens have worked so hard to deliver free bus travel for everyone under 22, disabled users and the over 60’s, the roll-out of community bus funds and have been leading calls for local councils to take over services in their areas.

“We also need to go further by extending free travel to people seeking asylum, and ensure that big operators like Stagecoach are prevented from pulling out of essential routes on a whim and leaving towns and villages stranded.

“If we want to help people through the cost of living crisis and reduce emissions, we need to supercharge our efforts to make public transport, especially buses, cheaper, more reliable and accessible for all.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code
Posted in