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Buses & Economic Growth: The smart connection


23 July 2012 - The Buses & Economic Growth Report, published this month and undertaken by the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds,  brings together for the first time an assessment of the economic contribution buses in growing the economy, connecting people with jobs, helping businesses and supporting the vitality of city centres. It also highlights the significant direct contribution of the bus industry itself in creating employment and investment.


The report highlights the vital role buses plays in the wider economy:

  • More than five billion bus journeys are made in the UK each year – at least one billion of those bus journeys are taken to work.
  • More people commute by bus than all other forms of public transport combined.
  • Bus commuters generate £64 billion of economic output every year.
  • People use the bus to make shopping and leisure trips with an annual value of £27.2 billion, of which £21.5 billion is spent in towns or cities centres.
  • 1 in 10 bus commuters would be forced to look for another job if they could no longer commute by bus.
  • More than 50% of students are frequent bus users and depend on the bus to get to their education or training.

Commissioned by Greener Journeys, an alliance of the UK’s leading bus companies and other public transport supporters committed to encouraging people to make more sustainable travel choices, the report’s publication coincides with Greener Journeys’ announcement to develop a discounted travel scheme to help some one million unemployed young people access jobs, education and training more easily. Details of the scheme being developed by the leading bus operators will be announced in autumn 2012.


Claire Haigh, Chief Executive of Greener Journeys, said: “This report shows the value of the bus in generating sustainable economic growth. Buses play a crucial role in oiling the wheels of the economy as well as reducing carbon emissions, helping maintain the fabric of our communities and providing essential transport for the 25% of households without access to a car.”


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