Devon’s local bus journey reached a record low within the past decade.
The Department of Transport revealed that the recent number of 25.2 million bus journeys were made in Devon between 2017 to 2018. Figures showed a decrease of two million on bus travels. This is the lowest since the first numbers were released back from 2009 to 2010.
Although it reached its highest at 2014-2015 at 28.7 local bus journeys, it steadily decreased until it reached its lowest last year.
The Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport, Darren Shirley, mentioned that the statistics suggest that buses are in grave crisis. The reasons for these might be caused by cuts in funding which results in higher fare rates and lesser services.
Buses are essential to the community as they are cheaper than other transport vehicles. Bus journeys connect families and friends, provide opportunities, and offer convenient travels.
Bus travels are being reduced, thus severing these important connections that the people rightly deserve.
What needs to be done is to formulate bus strategies with proper government funding. According to Shirley, walking, cycling and riding trains had all been formulated with successful plans, so there’s really no reason for buses to be in the minority.
Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s spokesperson, mentioned that it is not possible for councils to always provide free travels while a proper budget was never allotted for these kinds of services.
Councils are certainly knowledgeable of the great importance of buses, and they are willing to protect and support them.
The financial support of the government in regard to these services already declined three years in a row and reached its lowest last 2018.
The Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary specified that these data are very alarming and the national government must provide the local government with the authority to municipalize and franchise buses to boost their funding and services.