Merseyside sees 9% rise in paying bus passengers – bucking the UK trend

New data from Merseytravel reveals a 9% rise in fare paying passenger journeys in the last three months of 2018 compared with the same period in 2017. Tony McDonough reports

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There was a 9% increase in Merseyside bus passengers in the last three months of 2018

 

More people are using buses in Merseyside, according to new figures, bucking the national trend of falling passenger numbers.

New data from Merseytravel reveals a 9% rise in fare paying passenger journeys in the last three months of 2018 compared with the same period in 2017, with an increase in adult journeys for the first time also of 9%. There has been a 16% increase in fare-paying passenger journeys since 2013/14.

The number of journeys made by young people has driven passenger growth since 2014 thanks to the introduction of the £2.20 MyTicket, which allows under 19s unlimited day travel on any bus across Merseyside, as well as significant reductions in operators’ fares for young people.

A reduction in the cost of bus operators’ weekly tickets is believed to have contributed to boosting the number of adult users.

And other figures released today by passenger watchdog Transport Focus showing 91% of paying Merseyside bus users as satisfied or very satisfied with services – the joint highest of any metropolitan area.

The survey also has Merseyside bus services topping the table for best value outside of London, with 75% of paying bus passengers in the region saying they were satisfied or very satisfied with the value for money offered.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “With 80% of public transport journeys in our city region made by bus, we know just how important our bus network is in getting people to work and education and in making the most of their leisure time.

“These figures are encouraging but the job is far from over. We need to continue to work to make our bus network one that supports all who depend on it as well as attracting new users.

“We now have greater powers at our disposal to make buses even better and we want to hear local people’s views and experiences, through our Big Bus Debate, as we decide which route we go down.”

Mr Rotheram’s ‘Big Bus Debate’ aims to find out what local people want and expect from bus. The next phase will involve on street surveys in Halton, Knowsley Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral during the Spring.

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