It seems the wheels on the bus are still going round and round, but with fewer people onboard. The number of journeys taken on a bus has dropped, according to figures from the Department for Transport.
A dip in passenger journeys of 1.3 per cent occurred in Spring 2014 in England, bringing the total down to 591.7 million. This goes against the usual trend of spring being busier than the winter, which saw 604.7 million journeys.
There was, however, an increase in journeys made between April and June 2014 compared with the same time the previous year – an increase of 0.4 per cent to 1.17 million journeys. 1.86 million journeys made from January to March 2014.
A Department for Transport spokesperson commented: “Bus passenger journeys in England increased by around 15% between 2004/05 and 2008/09, a period in which the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme was introduced.
“Growth was greater in London, with a smaller increase in the metropolitan areas outside London over this period. Since the year ending March 2009, passenger journeys have remained broadly flat, with continued growth in London offsetting a gradual decline in passenger numbers outside London.”
Transport union RMT said the decline in bus journeys was no surprise given that the number of services is in decline. An increase in the number of commuters cycling to work could also be a factor.
London buses became cash-free in June 2014.