Greener Journeys quantifies bus benefits

Improving local bus services boosts employment and improves income, helping to reduce social deprivation, according to a new report from Greener Journeys. The research, conducted by KPMG and the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds,  quantifies for the first time the impact of bus services on tackling social deprivation.

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

Importantly, it concludes that a 10 per cent improvement in local bus services in the 10 per cent most deprived neighbourhoods across England would result in 9,909 more jobs and 22,647 people with increased income.

The report, The Value of the Bus to Society, aims to demonstrate the role that buses have in helping to reduce social deprivation in the UK, with one in four people not having access to a car.

Greener Journeys says it builds on previous research which shows that buses bring huge economic benefits to the UK. 

Around 3.5 million people in the UK travel to work by bus, and these commuters generate more than £64billion worth of goods and services per year, according to Greener Journeys, which argues that every £1 spent on local bus priority measures delivers up to £7 in economic benefit.

“This vital new research demonstrates that bus travel doesn’t just benefit the economy, it can also help alleviate deprivation and improve people’s life chances,” says Claire Haigh, chief executive, Greener Journeys. “This new evidence shows that bus investment is not just a transport policy – it is a health policy, an education policy, a skills policy, a wellbeing policy, and a social cohesion policy. We urge government to consider these findings when contemplating future investment in bus services.  Bus investment can deliver truly inclusive and sustainable economic growth.”