The bus market in England outside London is becoming focussed on a smaller number of “high intensity” users, according to a report from the Independent Transport Commission (ITC), The shape of changing bus demand in England.
It considers a wide range of factors that affect bus patronage. Bus use has been on a downward trend since 2008 outside London.
However, ITC researchers have found that the decline is largely due to a fall in the proportion of the population who are bus users, rather than existing users travelling less often.
In England outside London, 18% of the population use buses. In London, that figure is 42%. But the report finds that people outside London that use buses are making around 5% more journeys now than they were in 2009.
“This increase… suggests that the bus market is becoming focussed on a smaller number of high-intensity users,” the report continues.
It adds that while bus travel outside London has fallen by 15% since 2009, for men it has only reduced by 6%. The intensity of bus use has increased most among males aged 17-39. In that category, it grew by 14% per bus user.