Number of bus journeys on the decline in Scotland
19th Mar 2018
Bus passenger numbers in Scotland have fallen by 10% over the last five years, new figures show.
Official statistics from Transport Scotland show the bus being the only mode of transport to have experienced a drop in usage since 2011-12.
Over the last five years, car traffic rose by 5% and bikes by 15%. Rail, air and ferry passengers also increased.
The Scottish government said it was spending more than £250m a year on supporting usage of buses.
Transport Scotland's figures for the other modes of transport - rail, aircraft and boats - show that over the last five years ScotRail passengers rose by 16%, air passengers by 22% and ferry passengers by 5%.
Over the same period bus fleet sizes have fallen by 16%, while fares have increased by 5% in real terms.
However, three-quarters of all public transport journeys were still made by bus in 2016-17.
In total 524 million public transport journeys were made during the year.
Meanwhile, car traffic is estimated to have increased by 2% to 35.4 billion vehicle kilometres.
Just under a third - 31% - of journeys to work were by public or active travel in 2016, the same as in 2006.
There were 4,800 new electric and hybrid car registrations, 7% more than the previous year.
Environmental organisations said the figures showed the need for more investment in sustainable transport.
Emilia Hanna, air pollution campaigner for Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: "The upcoming Transport Bill must make it possible for local transport authorities to have greater control over bus operations so that buses can play their vital role in reducing air pollution and climate emissions.
"We need less reliance on cars, if we are to have create cleaner air, lower climate emissions, less congestion and a fairer transport system.
"The Scottish government and local councils must make it easier for more of us to walk, cycle, and use public transport."
This begs the question, what does our future public transport network and usage look like?
Source; BBC News, 28th February 2018, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-43225271
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