Post Covid-19 – putting bus first in the transport network 29/07/2020

Today CPT is setting out the benefits of putting the bus first in transport networks post Covid-19 in a new publication “putting bus first in the transport network.”

Buses will be crucial in supporting economic growth and delivering environmental targets as we exit the Covid-19 pandemic. However, data shows that there has been a dramatic increase in car journeys, which are already approaching pre-lockdown levels. This is threatening a return to congested roads and poorer air quality in towns and cities and it is now vital that we encourage people out of private vehicles and onto the bus. Cracking congestion is key to doing this.

Congestion is costly and diverts funds away from improved bus services. Operators have warned that even a 10% decrease in road speeds as a result of congestion would increase operating costs on the network by £400m a year. This is money that could be spent on more frequent services or a wider network, which would make bus travel more appealing to potential passengers. A Government investment of £1.2bn in bus priority measures across England would help improve bus journey times and reliability, which encourage people to take the bus and alleviates congestion for all road users helping deliver a green and sustainable economic recovery.

CPT's Policy Manager Alison Edwards said:

“Bus operators are frequently investing simply to keep pace with congestion, which risks being made even worse with increased car use as people return to their normal daily lives. Some studies are predicting that we will see one million more cars on our roads.

“By investing in measures that will make bus journeys quicker and encourage more people onto the bus we will enable operators to use funds that would otherwise have been spent tackling congestion on improved services for passengers.

“This is a chance to reset how we view buses within our transport system and recognise that quicker bus speeds will improve people’s access to jobs as they feel comfortable to travel further from home.

“With bus passengers also often exercising as part of their journey greater bus use will lead to healthier communities across the country.”

You can read in more detail in our Bus Priority Document: