Stagecoach tops fares survey
According to a survey conducted by passenger transport research specialists, The TAS Partnership, Stagecoach is Britain’s best value major bus operator for the third successive time. The organisation’s National Fares Survey 2013 also found the average price of a three mile bus journey has fallen in real terms over the last two years, despite reductions in public sector funding for local bus services. It discovered the average fare charged for a typical three mile journey was £2, up 5% from £1.90 in 2011 (and up 11% from 2009). However, this compares with a 6% increase in general prices over the same two year period. The 2013 survey analysed nearly 1,000 individual bus fares. It is the third report completed in the series and follows similar publications in 2010 and 2012.
TAS’s research compared the average cost of weekly bus travel across operators. The results were: Stagecoach (£12.50), National Express (£14), independents (£14.50), municipals (£16), First (£17), Arriva (£17.50), Go-Ahead (£18), TfL (£19.60) and Transdev (£19.95). As shown in previous surveys, fares continue to vary widely across the country, with the lowest fare 80p (70p in 2011) and the highest £5.00 (up from £3.95 in 2011), showing a wider distribution in 2013 than in 2011. In general, discounts offered on both day and weekly tickets are greater in urban than non-urban bus services.
Other key findings included: Day tickets are becoming a virtual proxy for two single fares and may, in time, replace the typical return fare completely; Scotland offered the lowest average single fare of £1.80 and London the highest at £2.40, whilst Yorkshire & the Humber had the greatest range of single fares (£4.00 between the highest and lowest); on day and weekly tickets, customers in the North West see savings against the cost of a single trip on the second journey of day tickets and sixth/seventh journey on weekly tickets whilst customers in the north east typically pay a premium on day tickets; and municipal operators tend to have the lowest single and day tickets and Stagecoach the lowest week fares.