“Buses make people healthier and wealthier”

Improving local bus services can boost employment and improve income, helping to reduce social deprivation, Greener Journeys has found.

It revealed that a 10% improvement in local bus services is linked to a 3.6% reduction in social deprivation across England, taking into account employment, income, life expectancy and skills.

Greener Journeys, a coalition of the UK’s leading public transport organisations, user groups and supporters, commissioned KPMG and the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds to carry out the research. It is the first to measure the impact of bus services on deprivation.

It found that if the bus services in the 10% most deprived neighbourhoods across England were improved by 10%, there would be significant, tangible improvements to that area.

In this case, the improvements as estimated in the report would be: 9,909 more jobs, as a consequence of a 2.7% fall in employment deprivation; increased income for more than 22,647 people, as a consequence of a 2.8% drop in income deprivation; and 2,596 fewer years of life lost.

Also, 7,313 more people would have adult skills and there would be an increase in post-16 education of around 0.7%.

The report, The Value of the Bus to Society, considered the impact that bus services have on the ability of households to participate in economic and social activities and, ultimately, on levels on economic, social and environmental deprivation. ….