Bus renaissance under way
The bus is coming back into fashion in parts of the UK where new, modern and innovative service offers are helping more people beat congestion, cut pollution and get from A to B more conveniently.
Official Government figures show that passenger numbers have been growing in certain towns and cities, particularly more affluent parts of the south, bucking the trend of long-term decline across the UK as a whole.
A new report by the LowCVP, commissioned by Greener Journeys, highlights how bus services in many of the regions experiencing the biggest growth in bus patronage, including Bristol (19% increase from 2009/10 to 2015/16), Reading (+17%) Milton Keynes (+15%) and Oxford (+12%), have benefited from investment and prioritisation by local councils in partnership with operators.
The boost is by no means limited to the south, with York more recently experiencing a 7% increase in bus usage since 2011/12 – the equivalent of an extra 600,000 passenger journeys per year.
Popular improvements identified by the report, 'Any Journey is Greener by Bus', include cleaner vehicle technology, real-time travel information, integrated ticketing, free WiFi and charging, improved seating, shorter journey times, better routing and bus priority measures such as bus lanes.
The report, launched 9 February at the UK Bus Summit, says that in some cities and regions operators have introduced not just cleaner vehicle technology, but also a host of other innovative features which are attracting people back to buses, and even out of their cars in some cases.
See more here.
PLUSBUS day tickets now available from South West Trains website
Great news if your a user of South West Trains - their new website is now retailing PLUSBUS day tickets at: www.southwesttrains.co.uk
Arriva Trains Wales launches self-service sales of PLUSBUS day tickets
The main Train Operating Company across Wales has just completed programming self-service ticket machines at over 60 of its stations so that they now sell PLUSBUS day tickets. This means for the first time, that train travellers across the principality, who buy their train ticket on the day of travel, can now buy and use a PLUSBUS day ticket for the destination town of their journey too.
For a map of the Arriva Trains Wales network, showing the stations at which PLUSBUS day tickets can now be bought from the self-service ticket machines, click here.
GWR ticket machines now offer PLUSBUS
Selected self-service ticket machines at the Great Western Railway stations listed below, are now offering PLUSBUS day tickets.
Paddington (in the booking office); Bath; Bristol Temple Meads, Chippenham; Didcot Parkway, Reading and Swindon.
(Issued: 4 July 2016).
Great day-out offers.
PLUSBUS ticketing has joined forces with National Rail 2FOR1 offers, so that you can now take advange of both money-saving ideas when you have a day-out by train and bus. For information click here.
New research shows that taking the bus (instead of the car) can reduce mental stress by a third.
The study by Dr David Lewis from The University of Sussex, who coined the term “road rage”, found that motorists face a hidden mental health impact from the stresses of driving, while bus travel can produce long-term health benefits.
For the experiment, the heart rate and EDR (Electro-Dermal Response) of 30 commuters was measured when taking similar journeys by car and bus. The findings reveal a vast difference in EDR, a form of biophysical measurement that Dr Lewis describes as an excellent indicator of mental stress.
When examining the EDR results, the experiment found that taking the car produced significantly greater amounts of stress than taking the bus, which was 33% less stressful.
“EDR can be a hidden stress – it’s not as visible as ‘white knuckle driving’ or audible as road rage. This type of stress can have long-term physiological and emotional implications. Boarding a bus can produce significant long-term health benefits,” said Dr Lewis.
Dr David Lewis says there are three key factors that reduce the attraction and increase the stresses of driving a car.
1. Driving in heavy traffic – especially against a deadline – requires a high level of vigilance, even for experienced motorists. This requires the brain to work especially hard processing a myriad of incoming information and making, often split-second, decisions.
2. Congestion and delays can raise blood pressure and physical tension which may manifest itself as ‘road rage’, a term coined by Dr Lewis in 1985 to describe the explosive outbursts of anger shown by some motorists. Increases in blood pressure can have serious long-term health consequences as well as causing drivers sometimes to take reckless and foolish decisions behind the wheel.
3. A sense of frustration of ‘wasting one’s life’ behind the wheel of the car, unable to do anything more productive than casual conversations or listening to the radio. On a bus it is possible to fill the time more profitably by doing some work or reading.
He also notes that trained, professional bus drivers are skilled in negotiating the challenges of the road, and the relief of trusting someone else to be in charge of the journey, is a key part of what makes taking the bus less stressful.
“This study shows that driving in congested traffic, now outweighs any previous benefits that driving in a private car once gave,” said Dr Lewis.
Page last updated: 10/01/2017