In Transport Focus’s latest research into the area, it was found around nine in ten passengers in the West Midlands reported that they remain happy with their bus services overall. The study showed improved satisfaction with waiting times and a reduction in anti-social behaviour incidents. However, satisfaction with actual journey time continued its downward trend of the last few years, slipping from 86% satisfied in spring 2015 to 80% this year. These findings are the results of the survey carried out in spring on behalf of and jointly funded by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and bus operator National Express West Midlands. TfWM, formerly Centro, joined forces with local authorities and bus operators in the region to form the Bus Alliance. This group pledged to drive up standards and continue to develop the network through a joint investment of £150m.
MD of National Express West Midlands, Peter Coates, said, ‘As part of the West Midlands Bus Alliance, we made a public pledge to keep customer satisfaction high, so I’m very pleased with these results. We also work very closely with West Midlands Police through the Safer Travel Partnership to ensure our customers feel safe and reassured, and it’s very good news that anti-social behaviour on our buses is falling.’
Passenger Director of Transport Focus, David Sidebottom, said, ‘Passengers tell us they want a bus service that is punctual, reliable and offers value for money. It’s good to see the West Midlands Bus Alliance continuing to listen to what passengers experience to drive up satisfaction levels. However worsening congestion and slower journey times are clearly being felt by passengers and we look forward to working, as part of the alliance, to identify how improvements can be made.’