Transport Minister Baroness Kramer hops on board Catch the Bus Week

Greener Journeys
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Catch the Bus Week: 28th of April to 4th of May 2014

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer met with Greener Journeys and senior bus industry leaders on a silver-painted New Routemaster bus to support Catch the Bus Week, a major drive to get the public out of cars and onto the bus.

Claire Haigh, Chief Executive at Greener Journeys joined Baroness Kramer to officially launch Catch the Bus Week 2014 alongside David Brown, Chief Executive, Go-Ahead; Giles Fearnley, Managing Director – UK Bus, First Group; Leon Daniels, Managing Director (Surface Transport), TfL; Mark Threapleton, Managing Director, Stagecoach; and Mark Yexley, Operations and Commercial Director, Arriva. The national campaign, that began yesterday (28th April) and runs to the 4th of May, aims to increase awareness of the benefits of bus travel across the UK, and to encourage first time or infrequent users to give the bus a try.

Almost 100 bus companies, passenger organisations and local authorities are running events, ticket giveaways and community engagement campaigns across the UK with participants including Go-Ahead, Transport for Greater Manchester, Arriva, Transport for London, Stagecoach, Norfolk County Council, Merseytravel, Devon County Council, FirstGroup amongst many others. Interested bus users should visit www.catchthebusweek.co.uk to find out what’s happening in their local area.

The week celebrates the key role buses play in communities across the UK, something which is too often undervalued:

  • Buses ensure millions get to work, education and leisure activities – more people commute by bus than all other forms of public transport combined, generating £64 billion of benefits to the UK economy[i].
  • Buses are crucial to the young unemployed. 82% of unemployed 18-24 year olds have no access to a car and strongly rely on public transportii.
  • With soaring costs of fuel, insurance, road tax and repair bills, and other cost of living constraints the bus is an affordable lifeline for millions of people.
  • Buses connect rural communities where there is little else by way of public transport.
  • Buses are good for people’s health – taking the bus to work or school can help achieve half the Government’s recommended 30 minutes of exercise[ii]i – in fact daily bus users walk the annual equivalent of 11 marathons.

Baroness Kramer, Minister for Transport, backs Catch the Bus Week.

She said:
“It’s a rare day when I don’t use a bus. They are the backbone of the public transport network and help millions of people get where they need to be every day. We want to see even more people taking the bus as they deliver clear economic and environmental benefits in the communities they serve. Initiatives like Catch the Bus Week are important in helping make this happen.”

Claire Haigh, Chief Executive of Greener Journeys explains:
“Buses are a vital lifeline for millions across the UK. From getting children to school, carrying people to work, the shops or to their local park buses join up the dots in our society and our economy.

“This campaign is a crucial springboard for greater attention of the whole host of ways that the bus benefits Britain, from how it helps people fit vital physical activity into hectic lives to how they help cut clogging congestion on our roads that damages local economies and businesses.

“I hope the hundreds of activities going on across the country will prompt car drivers and infrequent bus users to give the bus a try. I am delighted to be launching such an important campaign.”

-ENDS-

 For further information contact:

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

About Catch the Bus Week
Catch the Bus Week was first launched in 2013 in partnership with bus operators throughout the UK. The bus companies participating in Catch the Bus Week 2014 include Arriva, Stagecoach, FirstGroup, Go-Ahead and many local companies.

Visit www.catchthebusweek.co.uk for more information.

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, Campaign for Better Transport, the RAC Foundation, Confederation for Passenger Transport (CPT), and the Passenger Transport Executive Group (pteg).  Its primary funders are bus companies Arriva, FirstGroup, Go-Ahead, and Stagecoach.

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