A third of Brits don’t know how much the bus costs, according to a new report.
Inconvenient routes, infrequent services, slow journey times and unreliability were key factors behind buses not being a viable option for travel, despite significant benefits for the environment.
The Confederation of Passenger Transport claim shifting journeys from car to bus and coach just once a month could save millions of tons of C02e emissions, while just one fully loaded bus can take 75 cars off the road.
In addition, they say cumulative reductions in congestion could be save £29.4 billion, while health benefits might hit £14.9 billion – enough to build 33 new NHS hospitals.
The Decarbonisation Dividend report, created alongside WPI Economics, urged ambitious action to tackle car greenhouse gas emissions, which account for most surface transport emissions.
And revealed half of Brits say they would take the bus more if services were better.
The UK’s net zero commitments require a decarbonisation of the transport sector, the highest emitting sector and the only one whose emissions have increased since 1990.
“Without shifting demand from cars to buses and coaches, the UK will fall short of its net zero ambitions,” said CPT chief executive Graham Vidler.
“The report shows that small changes in the way we travel can create a big difference. To unlock these benefits, each of us needs to switch just one journey per month from car to bus by the end of this decade, two journeys per month by 2050. That’s it.
“The encouraging findings from the report and our consumer research demonstrate that the shift from cars to buses and coaches is necessary, desirable and, most importantly, possible.”
Whilst a third of Brits do not know how much a single fare is in their local area, over half of Brits (54%) admit they’d be more likely to use the bus in their local area if the services were better.
In an increasingly green-conscious age, almost half of car-driving Brits (46%) have considered taking the bus more compared to this time last year, with half of those (49%) doing so to be greener.
“Buses and coaches are both critical forms of transport for millions of people across the country, so it’s encouraging to see their many benefits laid out so clearly in this report,” said Helena Barrett, head of climate policy at Green Alliance.
“Transport remains a thorn in the side of the decarbonisation agenda, and while technological advancements will accelerate a large proportion of the transition to net zero, we also need to think carefully about encouraging alternative, low carbon modes of transport.”