Congested towns and urban centres could be made clearer and greener if buses were given greater priority on the roads, an unprecedented coalition of transport groups will announce today.
The coalition will call for the wider adoption of simple traffic measures which could cut pollution and journey times, as well as provide a boost for local businesses, as part of a week-long drive to raise awareness of the benefits of bus priority.
The Bus Priority Works campaign will include the launch of a new website which will show that there is strong evidence for the benefits of bus priority measures.
Leading figures from the campaign will make the case for bus priority measures at a dedicated event for local and national decision makers, while a new series of infographics supporting their argument will be published on social media.
The activity has been co-ordinated by sustainable campaign group Greener Journeys, pteg, Campaign for Better Transport, Confederation of Passenger Transport and Bus Users, as well as Transport for London – the first time such a large coalition has come together to campaign for increased focus on bus priority measures at a national level.
Carefully planned bus priority measures – when implemented in the correct places and properly enforced – deliver benefits for local businesses, communities and the environment. Analysis by KPMG for Greener Journeys has shown that targeted investment in bus priority measures typically generates £3.32 of net economic benefit for each £1 of cost incurred.
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.
Shops benefit from better access for consumers, and local people find jobs and services easier to reach, particularly at peak times. Meanwhile communities enjoy cleaner air and less noise pollution.
Claire Haigh, Chief Executive of Greener Journeys, said:
“Decision makers have a huge opportunity to improve local transport, boost the economy and raise the quality of life for their constituents – all through a few bus priority measures which are cost-effective and simple to introduce. Such measures will further enhance the key role that buses play in supporting vital economic activity and help local economies to grow.”
Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive, Campaign for Better Transport, said:
“Allowing buses more priority doesn’t just reduce congestion, it also helps reduce air pollution by encouraging more people to travel on the bus instead of in their cars. This means people living in busy urban areas can enjoy cleaner air and less noise pollution, as well as more reliable public transport, supporting their health and well-being.”
David Brown, Pteg lead on bus, said:
“Two thirds of all public transport journeys each year are by bus and they fulfil a vital role in society by transporting us to school and work, to the shops and to social events. Bus priority measures allow them to do their job more reliably and efficiently, encouraging more people to leave their cars at home and make use of the local bus.”
Leon Daniels, MD of Surface Transport, Transport for London, said:
“Passengers in London know the benefits bus priority measures can bring, as bus lanes on routes across the capital make journeys faster and more reliable, allowing passengers to reach their destination in many cases faster than they would in a car. These measures continue to protect the bus network from congestion, improve the reliability of journey times and support London’s growing economy.”
Simon Posner, Chief Executive, Confederation of Passenger Transport, said:
“One of the major benefits bus passengers enjoy is being able to avoid urban traffic thanks to priority measures such as bus lanes. Wider use of carefully planned, well managed and enforced bus priority measures in urban areas would ensure that more people around Britain can enjoy faster and more reliable journeys, making bus travel even more appealing.”
Claire Walters, Chief Executive, Bus Users UK said:
“Bus priority measures are a simple and cost-effective way to make buses a viable choice for everyone. Not only would this address some of the most challenging issues facing our towns and cities, but the impact on the lives of the people and communities they serve would be immeasurable.”
For further information on Greener Journeys contact:
About the Bus Priority Works campaign
The Bus Priority Works campaign is led by Greener Journeys, Campaign for Better Transport, Confederation of Passenger Transport, Transport for London, pteg and Bus Users. It argues that carefully planned bus priority measures, implemented in the correct places, are good for everyone. The campaign will take place from Monday 7 to Sunday 13 September. Further details can be found on the Bus Priority Works website: www.buspriorityworks.com.
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.
About Campaign for Better Transport
Campaign for Better Transport is the UK’s leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people’s lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels.
About Confederation of Passenger Transport
The Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT) is the UK’s leading Trade Association representing the interests of bus and coach operators and recognised by Government as the voice of the industry whilst also being the focus for consultation on national and international legislation, local regulations, operational practices and engineering standards.
We represent the strategic transport bodies serving the six largest city regions outside London. We are also a wider professional network for Britain’s largest urban transport authorities.
About Bus Users UK
Bus Users champions the rights of bus and coach users. We give passengers a voice, campaign for improved standards in services, and work to make bus travel a viable choice for everyone.
About Transport for London
TfL is London’s integrated transport authority, responsible for the coordinated delivering of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. Our goal is to keep London working, growing and to make life in London better. Our services ensure that those who live and work in and visit London can access all the Capital has to offer in terms of jobs, leisure, health, and education.
Image by: Kevin Boyd