Investment into local bus infrastructure can cut pollution and generate clear economic benefits for all, new research finds

Greener Journeys
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  • Every £1 spent introducing bus lanes and improving access and journey satisfaction for passengers can deliver up to £7 of economic benefits for all
  • Bus priority measures can deliver up to 75% fewer emissions per passenger per km
  • Greener Journeys launches new research that calls on the Government to issue guidance on 
how bus infrastructure can promote local economic growth, and to help local decision makers make effective investment in transport schemes

Every pound spent on local bus infrastructure can generate up to £7 of benefits for local businesses, communities and the environment.

New research for Greener Journeys by independent analysts at KPMG LLP found that carefully planned bus priority measures, such as bus lanes, busway schemes and better interchange systems to speed up journeys, when implemented in the correct places and properly enforced, deliver significant local benefits such as cutting pollution and journey times.

By evaluating existing schemes across the UK, the study found that every £1 spent on local bus infrastructure delivered between £4.67 and £6.94 of benefits to users, non-users and the wider economy.

New research by Peter White, Professor Emeritus of Public Transport Systems at the University of Westminster, for Greener Journeys also found that effective bus priority measures can deliver up to 75% fewer emissions per passenger per km. Bus journeys are made shorter and more reliable, encouraging more people to leave their car at home. This has a corresponding reduction in congestion, which costs the UK economy at least £11 billion per year.

The findings are brought together in Greener Journeys’ Roadmap to Growth, a new framework which outlines the ways in which local decision makers and Government can maximise the contribution of buses to our society and economy. As responsibility is being devolved locally, the framework calls for the provision of enhanced and consistent guidance to local decision makers on the evaluation of transport schemes. It also calls on the Government to sponsor evaluations of large and complex schemes and undertake evaluations of local bus schemes so that lessons are learnt and best practice shared.

A Roadmap to Growth will be launched at a dedicated event for local and national decision makers, where there will be a keynote speech from the Minister for Transport, Andrew Jones MP. Following this, there will be a panel discussion with Kevin O’Connor, Managing Director UK Bus, Arriva; Leon Daniels, Managing Director Surface Transport, Transport for London, and; Hilary Chipping, Head of Infrastructure, South East Midlands LEP.

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

Claire Haigh, Chief Executive of Greener Journeys, said:
“Decision makers have a huge opportunity to improve public transport, boost the economy and raise the quality of life for local people– all through a few bus priority measures which are cost-effective and simple to introduce. This new research demonstrates the vital role played by local bus infrastructure, in keeping communities connected and keeping people moving.”

Hilary Chipping, Head of Infrastructure at the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), said:
“Investment in bus priority measures is an essential element in improving infrastructure to enable businesses to grow. As buses become more reliable then more people will be willing to use them to access jobs and services. This reduces congestion, improves the environment and allows local economies to grow more quickly.”

-ENDS-

For further information on Greener Journeys contact:

Email: greenerjourneys@mhpc.com
Telephone: +44 (0)20 3128 8555
Web: www.greenerjourneys.com
Twitter: @GreenerJourneys

About the Bus Priority Works campaign
Bus Priority Works is 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, which is coordinated by Greener Journeys, 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. The campaign takes place from Monday 7 to Sunday 13 September. Further details can be found on the Bus Priority Works website: www.buspriorityworks.co.uk.

About Greener Journeys
Greener Journeys is a campaign dedicated to encouraging people to make more sustainable travel choices. 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. It is a coalition of Britain’s leading bus companies and other supporters including Transport for London, Transport Focus, Campaign for Better Transport, the RAC Foundation, and Confederation for Passenger Transport (CPT)). Its primary funders are bus companies Arriva, FirstGroup, Go-Ahead, and Stagecoach. 

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