Public Transport Statistics Bulletin GB: 2008 edition

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The Department for Transport has published National Statistics on public transport in Public Transport Statistics Bulletin: Great Britain 2008 Edition according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

The key points are as follows:  

  • The Department's PSA on local public transport is, by 2010, to increase the use of public transport (bus and light rail) by more than 12 per cent in England compared with 2000 levels, with growth in every region. In the seven years to 2007/08, bus and light rail patronage increased by 19 per cent.
  • In the last year, passenger journeys on local buses in England rose by 1.3 per cent. This was driven by an increase in bus patronage in London of 4.8 per cent with passenger journeys in the rest of England falling by 1.5 per cent. 
  • Over the same period, passenger journeys on trams and light rail systems in England increased by 4.3 per cent.
  • In all regions of England, bus patronage was higher in 2007/08 than in 2005/06, prior to the introduction of free concessionary bus fares for disabled and older (aged 60+) residents. Over this two year period, London, the South West and the South East experienced the highest increases in bus passenger journeys (of 11.6, 11.4, 11.1 per cent respectively). 
  • In 2007/08, there were about 970 million concessionary passenger journeys in England. 
  • In 2008, 60 per cent of Local Authorities in England had a morning extension to the statutory minimum concession which allows disabled residents and those aged 60 and over to travel free on local buses from 9.30am to 11pm. This was down from 72 per cent in 2007.
  • Overall satisfaction with bus services in England has increased by one point to 89 in the last year.
  • There was an increase in the percentage of low floor buses up from 53.7 per cent in 2006/07 to 62.0 per cent in 2007/08. The target agreed with the bus industry is that 50 per cent of buses should be low floor by 2010. 
  • The average age of the bus fleet in Great Britain at 31 March 2008 was 8.3 years, unchanged from 2006 and down from an average age of 8.4 years in 2005. 
  • At 31 March 2008, 52 per cent of buses in Great Britain were fitted with CCTV and 36 per cent of buses in Great Britain outside London were fitted with GPS and other electronic devices for measuring bus punctuality.
  • Average local bus fares in Great Britain increased by 1 per cent in real terms in 2007/08. Fares increased by 1 per cent in London, English non-metropolitan areas and in Wales and by 2 per cent in English metropolitan areas. By contrast, Scotland experienced a fall in bus fares of 1 per cent.
  • National Rail use increased, with 1.2 billion passenger journeys made in 2007/08, a rise of 5.8 per cent on the previous year.
  • As at August 2008, 29 per cent of authorities in England and Wales had policies limiting the number of taxi licenses in their area.


1. National rail data are available from the National Rail Trends Yearbook 2007-2008, published by the Office of the Rail Regulator on 10 September (
2. Quarterly figures on bus patronage, reliability and satisfaction for April-June 2008 will be published on 25 September 2008.

3. Figures for 2006/07 concerning buses have been revised slightly following further data quality assurance. This is footnoted in all the affected tables.

4. Results from the Concessionary Fares and Taxi surveys are based on incomplete responses and therefore provisional. Revised data will be published on the DfT website later in the year.

5. The publication Public Transport Statistics Bulletin Great Britain: 2008 Edition is available from Department for Transport, Statistics Travel Division, 3/09, Great Minster House, 76 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DR, Tel: 020 7944 4139.

Publication details

Published on 18 September 2008 by Transport Statistics.

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