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Public transport needs to be made more available and affordable

8 December 2017

Campaign for Better Transport responds to a new survey which shows the extent of car dependency in the UK.

The survey, carried out by Direct Line Car Insurance, shows that a fifth of UK adults would be 'practically unable’ to get to work if they did not have a car, and one in ten would be unable to get to their nearest town centre.

The research also shows that high fares are one of the biggest deterrents to using public transport, with a fifth discouraged by the expense.

Lianna Etkind, Public Transport Campaigner, Campaign for Better Transport said:

“While there are many areas of the country which offer people attractive and affordable public transport, too many people are cut off from work, friends and shops due to a lack of bus and rail services.

“Buses have been hit hard with funding cuts. Some local authorities have now stopped supporting buses altogether, creating ‘transport deserts’ where there is no public transport at all. However, the new Bus Services Act means local authorities now have the power to improve bus networks, restore connections and set standards. There's a huge opportunity here to make reliable, frequent and environmentally friendly transport networks, bringing benefits not just to passengers but to the wider community.

“The continuing rise in rail fares, up 3.4 per cent from next January, means that commuters are being priced off our trains. The lack of fairly-priced flexible season tickets means that part-time commuters are particularly hard-hit by fares hikes.

“We want to see the Government introduce a fares freeze this year and to commit to changing the way it calculates future fare increases. The Government should use CPI and not RPI so that fare rises more accurately reflect real inflation and ensure rail travel remains affordable for all."


For further information please contact:

Richard Watkins, Press Officer, at Campaign for Better Transport on 020 7566 6494 / 07984 773 468 or richard.watkins@bettertransport.org.uk      

Notes to Editors

  • Read the survey in full here.
  • Campaign for Better Transport’s Buses in Crisis research showed supported bus services have been hit hard by funding cuts, with over 500 routes completely withdrawn or reduced across England and Wales in 2016/17.
  • Read Campaign for Better Transport’s response to the rise in rail fares from January 2018 here
  • Bus fares in England, outside London, rose by more than 156 per cent between 1995 and 2016, while the retail prices index only rose by 77 per cent. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/618309/bus0405.ods)
  • 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).