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A new generation of bus projects across the UK are making services quicker and more reliable and helping to drive people out of their cars and onto public transport.
That is the findings of a new report from Greener Journeys, which illustrates how investment in innovative bus infrastructure projects is helping and could continue to help local services buck the overall national trend of declining usage.
With the Transforming Cities Fund for urban transport benefitting from £2.4 billion funding in the recent Budget announcement, the report shows how investment in buses could bring major benefits to the 10 cities shortlisted to bid for the funding.
Used as an example within the report, the ‘Fastway’ busway in Crawley, where roundabouts and junctions have been redesigned to create segregated bus lanes, has improved journey times and reliability and caused a decline in car use, helping to deliver £6.10 in wider economic benefits for each £1 spent.
Additionally, in Coventry the ‘Selected Vehicle Destination’ system – a virtual bus lane that gives buses priority as they approach traffic lights – has proven a cost-effective way to make journey times more reliable while not causing delays for other vehicles.
Claire Haigh, chief executive of Greener Journeys, said: “This report demonstrates how smart investment in bus infrastructure is delivering major benefits to urban transport at a fraction of the cost of alternatives such as building a new railway station or tram link. Cities across the UK are being suffocated by congestion and air pollution, but the Transforming Cities Fund provides a real opportunity to encourage a shift from car to bus by making bus journeys more convenient and reliable. A modern diesel bus produces fewer harmful emissions overall than a modern diesel car, despite having 20 times the carrying capacity. A double decker bus can take 75 cars off the road.”