Leave your cars at home for Catch the Bus Week

Greener Journeys
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  • Catch the Bus Week 2017 runs from July 3 – 9, with bus operators, local authorities and passenger groups encouraging the public to give the bus a try
  • New Buses Minister Jesse Norman MP launches the 5th annual celebration of bus travel
  • New figures reveal that every £1 spent on local bus infrastructure can deliver more than £8 of economic benefits

Britons are today being encouraged to leave their cars at home and hop on a bus, as hundreds of organisations come together across the country to mark the start of Catch the Bus Week.

From competitions and bus selfies to promotions and MP surgeries on the top deck, a wide range of activities are taking place up and down the country this week to celebrate the benefits of the bus.

Jesse Norman MP, the new Buses Minister, will also lend his support to the campaign, joining Claire Haigh, the Chief Executive of Greener Journeys, to launch the initiative in Brixton, south London.

Now in its 5th year, Catch the Bus Week – spearheaded by Greener Journeys – aims to raise awareness of the vast economic, environmental and social benefits of taking the bus.

It comes as new research for Greener Journeys shows that every pound spent on local bus infrastructure can generate more than £8 of benefits for local businesses, communities and the environment. People use buses to get to work, to do their shopping and enjoy leisure activities, helping to boost the economy.

By evaluating existing local infrastructure schemes across the UK, the new analysis by independent consultants at KPMG LLP found that every £1 spent on these projects delivered between £6.10 and £8.10 of benefits to bus passengers, to other road users and the wider community.

The study, which explores the ‘true value’ of local bus services, also found that each £1 spent on concessionary bus travel for older and disabled people generates £3.80 in wider benefits to society.

Buses are Britain’s most widely used mode of public transport but despite being vital to our society and economy, they rarely get the recognition they deserve.

Buses carry more commuters than all other forms of public transport combined, helping to generate £64bn per year for local economies. They also keep families close, protect society’s most vulnerable from isolation and connect people in poverty to economic opportunities.

However, new research for Greener Journeys shows that rising congestion is damaging the bus sector and contributing to rising pollution. That’s why Catch the Bus Week is so important – we need as many people as possible to get out of their cars and show their support for the bus.  Buses are essential for tackling pollution and congestion.  Modern diesel cars emit 10 times more harmful emissions per passenger than modern diesel buses.  A fully loaded double decker bus can take 75 cars off the road.

Claire Haigh, Chief Executive of Greener Journeys, said: 

“We’re really excited about this year’s Catch the Bus Week. We look forward to bus operators, MPs, local authorities and schools coming together to celebrate the bus and encourage people to leave their cars at home and hop on board. From deals to competition and yarnbombing to green hands, the creativity on display during Catch the Bus Week is astonishing and this year will be no different.

“There isn’t a single area of our daily lives that doesn’t in some way depend on the bus so it is fantastic to see its worth celebrated in such creative and fun ways.”

Jesse Norman, the Buses Minister, said:

“Catch the Bus Week is an important initiative and I’m pleased to be launching it. Buses are vital for connecting people, communities, homes and businesses.

“We have given councils extra powers to work in partnership with bus companies to improve the service passengers receive, and we provide around £250 million to support bus services every year, benefiting passengers up and down the country. That’s on top of free off-peak bus travel for nearly 10 million older and disabled people in England.

“I warmly encourage commuters to try the bus this week.”

For further information

Greener Journeys Press Office

press@greenerjourneys.com or +44 (0)20 3128 8555

Catch the Bus Week website:

www.catchthebusweek.co.uk

Notes to Editors

About the KPMG research

The report, The ‘true value’ of local bus services, was compiled by KPMG LLP for Greener Journeys. It provides a summary of updated ‘value for money’ appraisals for: bus priority measures; concessionary travel for older and disabled people; concessionary travel for apprentices; tax incentives for commuters; and the Bus Services Operators Grant.

Benefit cost ratios (BCRs) for capital and revenue expenditure in local bus markets.

The updated analysis shows the following returns for each £1 revenue invested:

CAPITAL & REVENUE PROJECT BCR
Hampshire Eclipse capital project £8.10
Mansfield Interchange £6.80
Crawley Fastway £6.10
Bus priority measures £4.90
Concessionary travel for older and disabled people £3.80
Concessionary travel for apprentices £2.70
Tax incentives for commuters £2.00
Bus Service Operators Grant £3.70

About Greener Journeys

Greener Journeys is a campaign dedicated to encouraging people to make more sustainable travel choices. It is a coalition of the UK’s leading public transport organizations, user groups and supporters.  It aims to reduce CO2 emissions from transport by encouraging people to switch some of their car journeys to bus or coach instead. Switching from car to bus for just one journey a month would mean one billion fewer car journeys on our roads and would save 2 million tonnes of CO2 every year.  For more information visit www.greenerjourneys.com

Image: Nick Rice

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