Annual bus statistics: England 2016/17

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Statistical Release

14 December 2017

Annual bus statistics: England 2016/17

About this release

This statistical release presents the latest annual statistics on the local bus sector. Local bus services use public service vehicles (PSVs) to carry passengers paying separate fares over short distances. Most of the data are derived from the Department for Transport's (DfT) annual survey of local bus operators. Figures are presented for England, in line with coverage of DfT bus policy. Statistics for Scotland and Wales are available online.

In this publication

Summary

2

Things you need to know 2

Passenger journeys

3

Explanation of trends

7

Bus mileage

9

Vehicles and staff

11

Bus partnership

13

Financial outlook

14

Bus punctuality

16

Passenger satisfaction

17

Bus passengers

19

Bus and coach drivers

22

Background information 24

We want your feedback

We welcome any feedback on any aspect of these statistics which can be provided by email to bus. statistics@dft.gsi.gov.uk.

The number of local bus passenger journeys in England fell by 70 million or 1.5% to 4.44 billion in the year ending March 2017.

Passenger journeys in England outside London declined by 0.8% over the same period, continuing the decline since 2008/09, and is now 1.2% lower than in the year ending

Local bus passenger journeys

4.44 billion journeys

in England in 2016/17

1.5%

since 2015/16

March 2005. In London, bus use

decreased by 2.3% in the latest year Vehicle miles on local bus services

1.24 but remains 12.4% higher than in the

year ending March 2007.

billion vehicle miles

in England in

Bus mileage in England decreased 2016/17

1.1%

since 2015/16

by 1.1% when compared with

2015/16, largely due to a 13.8% decrease in mileage on local authority

supported services in England outside London.

Responsible statistician: Further information:

David Mais: 020 7944 6857 Media: 020 7944 3066

Email: bus.statistics@dft.gsi.gov.uk Public: 020 7944 3094

Summary

Table 1 summarises the annual figures for bus passenger journeys and mileage for the 2016/17 financial year. Figures for England are broken down into England outside London (metropolitan areas and nonmetropolitan areas) and London.

Table 1: Local bus passenger journeys and mileage by area type: England, 2015/16 to 2016/17 (tables BUS0103 and BUS0203)

Passenger journeys

Vehicle mileage

2016/17 figures in billion / billion miles and change compared with 2015/16

London English metropolitan areas English non-metropolitan areas

2.24

2.3%

0.94 1.26

4

1.2% 0.4%

0.30

0.4%

0.31

3.9%

0.62

0.4%

England outside London England

2.20

0.8%

4.44

1.5%

0.93

1.6%

1.24

1.1%

Why the distinction between London and England outside London?

Buses in London, through Transport for London, operate under a different regulatory framework to the rest of England. The size of the bus market in London and differing trends in bus use also makes it sensible to disaggregate these two area types. Different disaggregations are available online including local authority level and for

urban and rural areas.

Things you need to know

The statistics presented here on the local bus sector in England provide information for monitoring trends in usage and provision for a mode of transport used for about 60% of public transport journeys.

Most figures in this release relate to local bus services. These are timetabled services using public service vehicles to carry passengers over relatively short distances, and usually eligible for Bus Services Operators Grant. Long distance coach services, private hire work and closed contracts are excluded but school services accessible to the general public are included.

The majority of bus services in England are provided by private companies since deregulation of the industry in 1986 in England outside London. Services can be operated on a purely commercial basis or with financial support from local authorities (supported services). London services are operated by private companies but regulated by Transport for London (TfL). There are two broad passenger types: concessionary and non-concessionary passengers.

Concessionary passengers are either older or disabled people (free to travel anywhere in England since April 2008) or young people in local authorities where such discretionary travel schemes exist. More detailed statistics on concessionary travel are published separately by DfT and available online.

Annual bus statistics: England 2016/17 - Page 2

Passenger journeys

England

What is a bus passenger journey?

In 2016/17, 4.44 billion passenger journeys were made by local bus in England, down 70 million journeys or 1.5% when compared with 2015/16. Chart 1 shows the trend in local bus journeys in England between 1985/86 (year before deregulation of the bus market) and 2016/17. Bus use fell in the early 1990s before starting to increase but has remained relatively stable since 2007/08 at over 4.4 billion passenger journeys.

Chart 1: Local bus passenger journeys in England, 1985/86 to 2016/17 (table BUS0103)

Passenger journeys on local bus services (billion)

5

Each boarding of a bus is counted as one journey. The number of passenger journeys are an important measure of bus demand. These statistics relate to passengers on local bus services. The main source of information on non-local bus use (e.g. long distance coach services) is the National Travel Survey.

Quarterly bus statistics

4.44bn

4

journeys

in 2016/17

3

1.5%

since

2015/16

2

7.6%

since

1

1985/86

0 1985/86

1992/93

2000/01

2008/09

2016/17

Passenger journeys in London accounted for around a half of the 4.44 billion passenger journeys made by local bus in England in 2016/17.

50% of journeys occurred in London

2.20bn

journeys in England outside London

2.24bn

journeys in London

Local bus passenger journeys and local bus fares are updated every quarter. The latest quarterly statistics are available for April to June 2017.

Concessionary travel

Total concessionary journeys (elderly or disabled, and youth concessions) made up 34% (1.51 billion passenger journeys) of all local bus passenger journeys in England. In England outside London, 30% of journeys were elderly or disabled concessionary journeys, twice the share as in London. DfT's Concessionary Travel Survey collects more detailed information for Travel Concession Authorities on concessionary passholder numbers, total expenditure on concessionary travel and concessionary discretions offered.

Annual bus statistics: England 2016/17 - Page 3

England outside London

In 2016/17, 2.20 billion passenger journeys were made by local bus in England outside London, down 0.8% when compared with 2015/16. Bus use in England outside London has been on a downward trend since the recent peak of 2.41 billion passenger journeys in 2008/09 (see chart 2).

London

There were 2.24 billion passenger journeys made by local bus in London in 2016/17, a decrease of 2.3% compared with 2015/16. This is the third consecutive year in which passenger journeys in London have fallen (see chart 2). Transport for London attribute increased congestion and road works as likely factors that have affected bus performance including bus speeds. Before 2012/13, bus use in London increased every year since 1998/99. Bus use in London in 2016/17, however, was 12.4% higher than in 2006/07 and accounted for around a half of all local bus journeys in England.

Chart 2: Local bus passenger journeys in England outside London and London, 2006/07 to 2016/17 (table BUS0103)

Passenger journeys on local bus services (billion)

2.5 2.4

London

2.3

2.2

England excluding

London

2.1

2.0

1.9

2.24bn

journeys in 2016/17

2.3% since 15/16

2.20bn

journeys in 2016/17

0.8% since 15/16

1.8

1.7 2006/07

2008/09

2010/11

2012/13

2014/15

2016/17

Annual bus statistics: England 2016/17 - Page 4

Metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas

Local bus passenger journeys decreased in both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas in 2016/17. In metropolitan areas, there were 0.94 billion passenger journeys, a decrease of 1.2% compared with 2015/16. In non-metropolitan areas, there were 1.26 billion passenger journeys, a decrease of 0.4%.

In both metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas, the introduction of free concessionary travel in local authority areas from 1 April 2006 and nationally from 1 April 2008 led to annual increases in local bus passenger journeys (see chart 3). After 2008/09, bus use in England outside London has decreased at a faster rate in metropolitan areas. In 2016/17, passenger journeys in metropolitan areas were 12.7% lower than in 2008/09 and 5.5% lower in non-metropolitan areas.

Chart 3: Local bus passenger journeys in England outside London by area type, 2006/07 to 2016/17 (table BUS0103)

England outside London

Figures for England outside London can be disaggregated further into metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas. Metropolitan areas are the six former metropolitan counties: Greater Manchester, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear, West Midlands and West Yorkshire. Nonmetropolitan areas cover the remaining county councils and unitary authorities in England outside London.

Passenger journeys on local bus services (billion)

1.4 Non-metropolitan areas

1.3

1.2

1.26bn

journeys in 2016/17

0.4% since 15/16

1.1

1.0

0.94bn

0.9

Metropolitan areas

journeys in 2016/17

1.2%

since 15/16

0.8

0.7 2006/07

2008/09

2010/11

2012/13

Bus use in urban and rural areas

2014/15

2016/17

Table BUS0111 shows passenger journeys on local bus services by urban and rural classification. As you move from urban to rural areas the number of bus journeys declines. The National Travel Survey shows that household car ownership and the number of trips by car is highest in rural areas. As the proportion of the household car ownership increases, the level of bus use decreases. Metropolitan areas have amongst the highest levels of bus use and proportion of households

Annual bus statistics: England 2016/17 - Page 5

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