Over 4.6 billion journeys were made by local bus in Great Britain in 2004/05, more than double the number of journeys made by rail (2.2 billion).
Bus and rail passenger journeys declined during the 1970s. Rail use has been increasing since the early 1980s, while the number of journeys on local buses continued to fall until 1998/99, before increasing slightly.
Travel in London accounts for over one third of all passenger journeys in Great Britain on local buses. Growth in journey numbers in the capital, in Scotland and in Wales has driven the overall increase. The number of journeys in London rose by 5 per cent in 2004/05, to 1.8 billion. In contrast, journey numbers in England outside London continued to fall.
National rail and London Underground accounted for 49 and 44 per cent, respectively, of all rail journeys in 2004/05. The number of passenger journeys on national rail rose to 1.1 billion in 2004/05. On the London Underground, the number of journeys rose to 1.0 billion.
Light railways and trams have become increasingly popular over the last decade, and several new lines have opened. Passenger numbers increased by 8 per cent between 2003/04 and 2004/05 in England, mainly reflecting the opening of the Nottingham tram in March 2004. Between 1996/97 and 2004/05 passenger numbers have more than doubled.