Go-Ahead supports five-point plan to generate economic growth through bus travel

Posted: 18 September 2012 | Go-Ahead Group | No comments yet

Go-Ahead is championing the importance of the bus to the UK economy…

Transport operator Go-Ahead is championing the importance of the bus to the UK economy and its role in reinvigorating and connecting local communities.

Go-Ahead, which operators services across England is backing a new five-point plan for growth launched by Greener Journeys which calls for measures to help bus travel boost long-term economic growth by linking communities to give people greater mobility and access to employment.

Greener Journeys, the campaign to promote sustainable travel funded by organisations including Go-Ahead, launched Bus Policy: a five-point plan for growth which calls for:

  • more co-ordinated pro-bus policy and funding arrangements at central and local government level
  • good value, multi-operator ticketing, in particular to help low-income groups and young people
  • taxation incentives for travelling by bus and more focus on travel planning support
  • Local Enterprise Partnerships, businesses and town centres to help fund bus improvements to boost local economies, and
  • closer partnership working between bus operators, business and local government.

The five-point plan draws from the results of an authoritative new report ‘Buses and Economic Growth’, by the Institute of Transport Studies at the University of Leeds, which revealed that more people commute to work by bus than all other public transport combined; bus commuters generate over £64 billion of economic output, and 400,000 people are in better more productive jobs as a result of the bus.

Transport minister Norman Baker said: “Buses are the mainstay of the public transport sector, carrying millions of passengers every day for business and leisure as well as helping to cut carbon by reducing congestion and replacing car journeys. And crucially, as this report highlights, buses are a keystone to the economy.

“The coalition Government strongly supports bus travel. We spent£1.77 billion last year supporting passengers travelling by bus in England, including financing for local government major projects and our Better Bus Area Fund. This was in addition to our£600 million Local Sustainable Transport Fund which is helping to finance projects improving provision of bus services and facilities for passengers.”

Claire Haigh, Greener Journeys Chief Executive, said: “In these difficult times we need to exploit the potential of the bus to stimulate jobs and growth.

“We need to match up unemployed people with jobs. For too many cars are a luxury they can’t afford, buses provide essential access. This is why we are calling for fairer tax treatment for bus passengers, and measures like tax incentives for bus commuting.”

David Brown, Go-Ahead Group Chief Executive said:” Buses provide crucial access to labour markets and support to businesses and local retail economies, People understand the social and environmental importance of buses and this report highlights the economic benefits that the bus can bring.”

Related organisations