According to the DfT’s latest bus use statistics, there continues to be a strong correlation between levels of car ownership and the number of bus journeys made by people in England. “Data from the National Travel Survey shows that people in households with no car access make around four times as many journeys by bus compared to people with at least one household car,” the analysis says.
The latest statistics also indicate that London continues to be essentially a separate country from the rest of England when it comes to bus use, with the capital boasting passenger numbers that are actually slightly higher than the rest of the country put together (2.315 billion bus trips in 2012/13 in London, compared with 2.284 billion trips elsewhere in England) and very different patterns of usage. “In 2012/13 the number of bus passenger journeys in London was double the level of the mid-1980s,” the DfT notes, observing also that, since the mid-1990s, when there was a burst of increased public funding for buses in the capital, “the proportion of households with no car increased in London”.
Almost exactly the opposite happened in England outside London, however. Here bus patronage numbers were a third less in 2012/13 than they were in the mid-1980s, the statistics say, during which period the proportion of households nationally without access to a car fell from 38% to 25%.