Bus Priority Works – a week that can make a difference to you and me

Claire Haigh
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Today is the launch of Bus Priority Works, a week long campaign calling for the wider adoption of simple traffic measures which could cut pollution and journey times, in addition to providing a boost to local businesses. The campaign brings together an unprecedented coalition of national transport groups, including Bus Users UK, Campaign for Better Transport, Confederation of Passenger Transport, pteg, Transport for London and Greener Journeys.

This week is important as we are now seeing a transformation in the way Britain invests in our future economic prosperity. As decisions around the funding of major transport schemes are being devolved to local decision makers as part of the Local Growth Fund, we have a huge opportunity to improve local transport, boost the economy and improve the quality of life of communities.

The Bus Priority Works campaign have launched a new website to show the strong evidence for the benefits of bus priority measures, while a new series of infographics will be seeded on social media this week.

Greener Journeys has long argued the importance of investing in local bus infrastructure. Previous research by KPMG LLP for Greener Journeys has demonstrated that targeted investment in bus priority measures typically generates £3.32 of net economic benefit for each £1 spent. Properly planned and enforced local bus infrastructure offers high value for money for the government, and bus journeys are made shorter and more reliable.

Buses are the lifeblood of communities and vital to our economy, helping people reach jobs, training, and local business. Carefully planned bus priority measures – when implemented in the correct places and properly enforced – deliver benefits for local businesses, communities and the environment. Local shops benefit from better access for consumers, while local people will find jobs and services easier to reach. The most isolated in society will remain connected to the people they’re closest too.

Crucially, as bus services improve, becoming quicker and more reliable, more people are encouraged to leave their car at home. Research shows that this would lead to a modal shift from car to bus, resulting in a corresponding reduction in the congestion which currently costs the UK economy at least £11 billion per year.

There is no doubt that decision makers have a huge opportunity to harness the potential of the bus – all through a few bus priority measures which are cost-effective and simple to introduce. That is why we are coming together this week to call for these measures which will further enhance the key role that buses play in supporting vital economic activity and help local economies to grow. So why don’t you tweet your support for the campaign or get in touch to let us know what you will be doing to raise awareness about the importance of bus priority measures in your local area? We would love to hear from you!

i: Cabinet Office Strategy Unit, An analysis of urban transport, 2009

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