“Bus travel hits 12-year-low as prices rise and services are axed”

“… The latest figures from the show 1.2 billion local bus journeys were made across Britain between April and June – a 10 per cent decrease since the peak of 1.33 billion between July and September 2008.

The fall in journeys coincides with a 55 per cent hike in average fares over the past decade.

Demand for bus travel has not been this low since the beginning of 2006.

A recent CBT study found that funding for supported buses has almost halved in the last eight years, leaving many areas without public transport.

Local authority bus budgets in England and Wales were slashed by £20.5m last year – the eighth consecutive annual government cut.

“The falling number of passengers taking the bus is a consequence of continued cuts in funding to support services,” said Darren Shirley, CBT chief executive.

“Nationally and locally this is resulting in fewer services and higher fares. The statistics back up what our research has been showing for years: that buses are in crisis.”

Mr Shirley urged the government to use its upcoming budget to reverse the “trend of cutting support” for buses.

“They are vital for the economy and the environment but year-on-year, people – especially in rural areas – are losing their bus service, making it difficult to access jobs, education and other essential public services.”