75% rate buses as ‘good’
75% of bus users rate the overall quality of their local service as ‘very good’ or ‘fairly good’, according to a new report from the DfT. Entitled ‘Public Attitudes to Buses: Great Britain, March 2013’, the study showed 45% of non-users rated local services positively. Non-users consisted of 61% of the overall respondents. Number of destinations, frequency of services and information about bus times were rated most highly. The cost of fares was rated most poorly by both users and non-users. Positive ratings have decreased since 2011, according to the study, although they are broadly consistent with earlier years and there is no evidence of a clear trend.
It was found that 46% claim the main reason for not travelling by bus is because using the car is easier and more convenient. For those without a car, preference for walking and cycling was the main reason (16%). 66% of non-users and 50% of bus users agreed that they would only travel by bus if there was ‘no other way of getting there’. Of the sample, 22% had a concessionary pass. 86% of all respondents were in support of free bus travel for older and disabled people. When asked whether the bus services from their nearest stop go anywhere they would like to go, 74% said ‘yes’. Of those who had travelled by bus in the last 12 months, 66% had used it for shopping.
All respondents were asked to what extent they would agree with a range of statements about increasing bus use. Bus users were more likely to agree that they would travel by bus more if aspects of the service were improved, such as if they were quicker, more frequent, cheaper or if the stop was closer. A non-statistically different proportion of users and non-users agreed they would travel by bus more if it was more difficult or more expensive to park the car or if there were charges for driving into town or city centres.