The impact of congestion on bus passengers

Over the last 50 years, bus journey times have increased by almost 50% in the more congested urban areas of the United Kingdom. If we had protected bus passengers from the growth in congestion there would arguably be between 48% and 70% more fare paying bus passenger journeys today. If the trend is allowed to continue, then our urban buses will no longer represent a viable mode of transport for the majority of its customers and will be populated largely by people with mobility difficulties. This report makes clear the true extent to which congestion has been corrosive to the bus sector. It has been caught in the vortex of three vicious downward spirals: 1. Slower speeds leading to higher costs and higher fares; 2. Slower speeds leading to increased journey time; 3. Slower speeds leading to punctuality and reliability decline. The net result is a direct correlation between operating speeds and patronage: a 10% decrease in speeds reduces patronage by at least 10%. Slow buses are bad for our city economies. If the trend for bus journey times increasing by almost 1% per annum continues we can expect to continue to lose access to around 5,000 jobs per year as a consequence. Slow buses are also bad for pollution. Fuel efficiency measured in kilometres per litre has declined by 35% since 2000, and carbon dioxide emissions per bus km in urban conditions have risen by 25%. While there are factors other than congestion driving this trend, such as larger buses, stop-start conditions caused by congestion are a key factor.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 55p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01602462
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Jun 21 2016 9:47AM