York’s buses ranked among the best in the UK

Posted: 26 March 2014 | City of York Council | No comments yet

Passengers on York’s buses rank them amongst the best in the UK according to surveys made by Passenger Focus, the UK’s independent watchdog for bus and rail services…

York Council

Passengers on York’s buses rank them amongst the best in the UK according to surveys made by Passenger Focus, the UK’s independent watchdog for bus and rail services.

Between September and December 2013, Passenger Focus interviewed over 1,000 passengers on York’s Park&Ride services, First’s city services and Transdev’s services. This was after the Lendal Bride trial started and the new route changes and fare reductions by First Bus were implemented following extensive public consultation.

The research showed that, compared to 18 other local authority areas surveyed by Passenger Focus last year, York’s buses were:

  • Considered best value for money of all the areas surveyed
  • Considered in the best condition for all the areas surveyed
  • In the top quarter of all areas for many aspects of the service, including satisfaction with bus stops, comfort and safety of vehicles.
  • The city’s bus drivers were also ranked in the top quarter of areas for their welcome and helpfulness, smooth driving and appearance.

Only two aspects of the service were in the bottom half of the areas in the survey and these were the information provided at bus stops – which is about to be transformed through the roll out of new timetables across the city at the end of April – and service frequency (although service punctuality was scored as sixth from top).

The Passenger Focus survey results are corroborated by surveys by City of York Council which assessed satisfaction with services in March 2012 (before any of the investment made through the Better Bus Area Fund took place) and again in October 2013, 18-months into the Better Bus Area project. These surveys showed:

  • The proportion of passengers who were satisfied with the reliability of their services increased from 65 per cent to 79 per cent
  • The proportion satisfied with value for money increased from 52 per cent to 66 per cent
  • The proportion satisfied with the speeds of services increased from 80 per cent to 87 per cent

Cllr Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for Planning, Transport, and Sustainability, said: “It’s essential that York makes the most of the city’s bus services to allow the city to grow whilst minimising traffic congestion. The results of both these surveys are extremely encouraging, showing that passenger perceptions have improved as we and our partners have invested in the network.

“York’s bus services are now ranked amongst the best in the country, even compared to larger cities such as Manchester and Bristol. It’s a clear demonstration that the investments being made through the Better Bus Areas project, including the trial closure of Lendal Bridge, are working for bus passengers and the Department for Transport’s recognition of York as one of the UK’s five Better Bus Areas is fully justified.However, the survey is also helpful in identifying where we need to improve services, and we are working with the Quality Bus Partnership to address this.”

Ben Gilligan, Managing Director of First in York, said:“I’m very pleased with these results and in particular the high ratings for our drivers and bus accessibility. The scores reflect the increasing number of customers now travelling with First following our pricing, network and reliability initiatives introduced in the last year. This survey will help us continue to make further improvements and attract even more people to use our bus services.”

John Carr, Chairman of the York Quality Bus Partnership, said: “The surveys demonstrate that the Quality Bus Partnership’s work on jointly developing York’s bus network is succeeding. The basics of fares and reliability are moving in the right direction, both of which are crucial in persuading more motorists to try the bus.Good affordable and reliable bus services are essential to stop traffic congestion choking the city.”

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