Revealed: The local area with the worst bus service in the country

·2-min read
Flat tire on a red double decker bus in London.
The Department for Transport's annual bus data is out. (Getty)

The local area with the worst bus service has been revealed in a new report from the Department for Transport.

North Somerset has the least punctual bus service in England, the DfT's annual bus data showed.

In this area, 71.1% of non-frequent services ran on time, defined as between one minute early and five minutes 59 seconds late.

In comparison, the best area was Devon, which had 99% of non-frequent services arriving on time.

WHITBY, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 26: A bus travels up the North Yorkshire coast between Saltburn By The Sea and Whitby on October 26, 2021 in Whitby, England. The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is expected to commit £6.9 billion towards train, tram, bus and cycle projects when he presents his budget and spending review to the Commons on Wednesday. £1.2 billion of the funding is earmarked to make bus services cheaper and more frequent, and is part of £3 billion commitment that Prime Minister Boris Johnson made to a
A bus service in North Yorkshire. (Getty)

A frequent service has six or more buses per hour but several areas have no frequent services.

In total, 87.9% of non-frequent services in England ran on time, which is the highest level since the data was first published.

Percentage of non-frequent services running on time by region:

  • North East - 91.6%

  • North West 89.8%

  • Yorkshire and the Humber 89.5%

  • London 89.0%

  • East 88.3%

  • South East 88.2%

  • West Midlands 87.7%

  • East Midlands 84.8%

  • South West 78.5%

Bus passenger satisfaction was 74% overall in England, but the North East came out on top with 78% in individual regions while the East of England was the lowest with 70%.

The DfT’s statistics also showed a drop in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Total passenger journeys fell by 61% to 1.57 billion in the year ending in March compared with the previous 12 months.

Bus mileage decreased by just 16% as government grants kept many services running for key workers.

Bus passengers were hit with above-inflation fare rises, the figures show.

The DfT said fares in England increased by 1.7% in the year to March.

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation grew by just 0.7% over the same period.

The rise was driven by the price of bus travel in London increasing by 3.3%.

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Since March 2005, bus fares across England have increased by 80%, whereas CPI has risen by just 44%.

Separate figures from the Office for National Statistics show that average bus and coach fares are nearly six times more expensive than in 1987.

The stats also revealed 52% of England’s 32,600 buses met the latest Euro VI emissions standards, and a further 2% were zero-emission.

Meanwhile, there are currently an estimated 4,000 bus and coach driver vacancies across the country.

Services have been cancelled as a result due to there not being enough drivers to cover shifts.

The Unite union has blamed the shortage on drivers being offered more to operate HGVs.

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