York’s buses rated number one in England
Improvements to bus services have resulted in York being rated as having the best bus services in England, according to an independent survey published today.
The annual survey has been carried out by Passenger Focus, a statutory body established by the Department for Transport, which assessed the extent to which bus passengers were satisfied with their local service.
In York, Passenger Focus interviewed 762 bus passengers on a range of bus services across the city, with similar surveys undertaken in 23 local authority areas and 15 bus operator areas including West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, and Oxfordshire. The routes surveyed in York were operated by Arriva, First York, Reliance and Transdev.
Overall, 93% of bus passengers in York were either satisfied or very satisfied with the bus service they were travelling on. Passengers’ overall satisfaction with services was higher in York than in any other English authority surveyed, and was also higher than all but one of the Scottish areas surveyed - making York the top authority area in England and the second in the UK.
This represents a significant improvement on the last survey (from 2014), with a 5% increase on overall passenger satisfaction and a 9% increase (to 63%) in passengers who were very satisfied.
York also came top in 14 other categories too (out of a possible 31), including value for money of fares and satisfaction with journey time and with the information provided at bus stops (78%, 3rd of 23 authorities).
This reflects the introduction of new, easy to read, all operator timetables across the network, two new Park & Ride sites, the introduction of bus wardens and new Network Monitoring Officers who are based in the authority’s state-of-the-art York Travel & Control Centre (YTCC) – supported by Government funding.
Councillor David Levene, Cabinet Member for Transport, Sustainability and Economic Development, said: “This demonstrates that our commitment to improving bus services in York is succeeding. Being rated has having the best bus area in the England is a huge achievement for both the bus operators and passengers.
“Our aim is to encourage even more people to travel by bus and increase passenger numbers. Last year there were 15.6 million individual bus journeys in York, an increase of 300,000 compared to 2013/14. We know our ongoing work to improve services is working and we want to continue to deliver real benefits for the city by reducing congestion, improving air quality and health.”
Keith McNally, the Chair of York’s Quality Bus Partnership, said: “This is excellent news and reflects the commitment of both City of York Council and operators to improving bus services in York. To have gone from ninth place to first in one year is a big achievement and really shows that investment in improving services and careful attention to detail such as the information provided for passengers at bus stops, and driver training pays off.”
David Sidebottom, passenger director at Passenger Focus, said: “Passengers in York tell us they are even more satisfied with the bus service – it has achieved a score of 93%, up from 88%. We know that passengers want, above anything else, is a punctual and reliable service with value for money fares and good information available to plan journeys. By focussing on the things that passengers care about, City of York Council has worked with bus operators to achieve a serious leap in its satisfaction score.”
The survey in York covered a mixture of conventional and Park & Ride routes, with approximately one-quarter of the passengers surveyed being on Park & Ride services.
For more details about York’s bus services visit www.itravelyork.info/buses
For more details of the Passenger Focus surveys, visit www.passengerfocus.org.uk