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Latest government bus stats confirm ‘buses in crisis’ across England

14 March 2017

Responding to the publication of the latest quarterly bus statistics from the Department for Transport, which show that bus mileage in England has decreased by two per cent since last year and that mileage on local authority supported services outside London has decreased by 12 per cent, Lianna Etkind, Public Transport Campaigner at Campaign for Better Transport, said:

“These figures back up our own research and confirm buses in crisis across the country. Each year more services are lost - 11 local authorities in England have now stopped supporting buses altogether creating ‘transport deserts’ in some rural and suburban areas where there is no public transport at all.

"It’s time to stop this decline. The Bus Services Bill, currently going through Parliament, can help local authorities to better plan and set standards for their bus networks, improving people's access to jobs, services and education. We urge the Government to give all local authorities have the full range of powers in the Bill and publish a funding strategy for buses.”

Campaign for Better Transport’s Buses in Crisis research (published 13 March 2017) found that £26.3 million was cut from supported bus budgets in England last year, resulted in 500 routes altered, reduced or withdrawn. That means that since 2010 over £100 million, 33 per cent, has been cut from local authority bus funding in England and Wales and 2,900 bus services have suffered cut backs and withdrawals resulting in huge disruptions for communities.


For further information please contact Alice Ridley on 020 7566 6495 / 07984 773 468 or alice.ridley@bettertransport.org.uk

Notes to Editors

  1. Campaign for Better Transport’s Buses in Crisis research, which was published on Monday 13 March, is based on Freedom of Information requests to all 110 local transport authorities across England and Wales.

Some key findings from The ‘Buses in Crisis’ research:

- 66 per cent of local authorities have reduced their spend on supported bus provision this year

- 10 councils around England and Wales already had no supported bus services at all as of 2016/17, these being Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees, Darlington, Cumbria, Stoke on Trent, Luton, Southend on Sea, Cardiff,  Neath Port Talbot, Wrexham

- An additional 4 councils, Middlesborough, Lancashire, Isle of Wight and Torbay Borough have made 100 per cent cuts to bus subsidies in the financial year 2016/17

- Lancashire County Council initiated the biggest cut this year, officially cutting their entire bus support budget, £7 million, while maintaining £2 million of Community Transport budget

- The biggest proportional cuts following Lancashire are Central Bedfordshire, 64.48 per cent, Derbyshire, 54.72 per cent and Portsmouth City, 54.5 per cent

- The North West is the region that has seen the highest bus cuts this year, with an average reduction in bus spending of 15 per cent.


  1. See the Department for Transport’s full quarterly bus statistics here.
  2. Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).