• New research for Greener Journeys by KPMG LLP shows bus funding delivers up to £3.50 of economic benefits for every £1 spent
• Government funding for buses keeps fares lower and boosts the economy
and communities – particularly helping the 77% of jobseekers who have no
car access and those on lower incomes.
• Research demonstrates subsidy of buses must continue in order to
deliver value for taxpayers and passengers – further cuts will intensify
pressure to increase fares and reduce services
New analysis for Greener Journeys – the campaign to promote
sustainable travel – shows the Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG)
delivers significant benefits to bus passengers, as well as other road
users and wider communities, through improvements to economic
productivity, social inclusion, sustainability and health.
BSOG is currently under review by the Department for Transport (DfT),
who are considering a number of options for reform of the scheme. In
2012 funding for BSOG was cut by 20%2.
The research builds on a series of recent Greener Journeys studies
that underline the significant economic and social value of the bus to
the UK, including:
• A landmark report published in July 2014, Buses and the Economy II
(conducted by the University of Leeds for Greener Journeys in
partnership with the DfT3) which revealed the significant relationship
between accessibility by bus and employment and found jobseekers are
heavily dependent on buses, with 77% having no access to a car, van or
• Greener Journeys research published in June 2014 which showed
investment in bus related infrastructure and priority measures generated
£3.32 of social, economic and environmental benefits for each £1
This new report revealed significant benefits arising from bus funding including:
• Reduced fares and improved bus services – bus users are significantly
better off due to fare reductions and service improvements enabled by
BSOG. Given the demographic profile of bus users, this has considerably
larger impact on those on low or moderate incomes.
• Better community linkage and lower congestion – more communities are
able to support a viable bus service, and with more people taking buses
traffic congestion is reduced. BSOG also contributes to improved air
quality and a reduced risk of traffic related accidents.
• Improved connectivity – BSOG makes it easier for people to access jobs
and for those eligible for concessionary travel to volunteer in their
• Positive impact on health and wellbeing – the increased use of public
transport driven by BSOG means more people lead more active lifestyles
with benefits for their health.
Claire Haigh, Chief Executive of Greener Journeys commented: “These
findings clearly show Government funding for buses has a hugely positive
overall impact on Britain. Any attempts to reform the Bus Service
Operators Grant must not risk or reduce the £3.50 of benefits the scheme
generates for every £1 spent. Over recent years our research has time
and again shown just how crucial buses are to helping people into work,
driving economic growth in Britain’s towns and cities and to building
cohesive and prosperous communities.
“In recent years the squeeze on public sector spending has led to a
reduction in government support for bus services, including cuts to BSOG
and socially necessary supported services. Any further cuts would have
serious implications for fares and services, with, as this research
clearly shows, significant knock-on effects for the economy, our society
and the environment.”