£474m cut in two years
A new report from TAS has emphasised the reductions in public spending on buses across Great Britain that have occurred since 2010, which now totals £474m a year after adjusting for inflation. The new edition of ‘The Economics of Bus Operation’ is fully updated with extended analysis. The publication covers the topics of: costs of operation; the levels of revenue needed both to meet operator financial obligations and invest in the future; the principal drivers of demand for bus services; the competitive environment in which the industry operates; trends in fare levels; a look at the different types of public spending on buses; and how and why the performance of the industry varies between different areas and different markets. It was first published in 2009.
Author of the report, Chris Cheek, said, ‘We hope that this independent analysis will help the non-specialist to understand the complexity of the issues and how they all interact. Ultimately, the community has to pay the cost of providing the bus services it wants: as Alastair Darling once remarked, public transport has only two sources of income, the farebox and the taxpayer. It is a harsh reality that one or other has to pay, or services reduced to the levels which are affordable. To pretend otherwise is to mislead both policymakers and voters.’