Bus journeys in Derbyshire fallen by more than half in the last decade
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Initially slated to end in March, the scheme has been extended by three months from April to June 30, while a further £80 million in funding has been provided to protect vital bus services during the same time period.
The Campaign for Better Transport said the added investment was "welcome", but urged the Government to implement long-term funding reform to encourage more people to take the bus.
This was up from 7.6 million the year before – which was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic – but was down significantly on pre-pandemic levels.
In 2019-20, the last full year before the pandemic, Derbyshire passengers took 20.9 million journeys, while over the last decade, services have been dropped by 53%. Across England there were 2.8 billion bus journeys in 2021-22 – down from 4.1 billion in 2019-20.
A decade ago there were 4.6 billion journeys, and the number of trips has fallen every year since 2013-14 bar last year due to the pandemic.
The Campaign for Better Transport said the extension of the £2 bus fare cap and funding for key services is "very welcome and a great success".
Paul Tuohy, chief executive of the campaign group, said: "We are urging the Government to implement long-term funding reform to avoid more uncertainty and give everyone access to affordable and reliable bus services."
The figures also show there were 17.8 journeys per person in Derbyshire in 2021-22 – up from 9.4. Meanwhile, elderly or disabled passengers accounted for 4.5 million (32%) journeys.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: "Travelling by bus remains the most popular option for commuters and families, but the sector is still trying to recover after the end of the pandemic.
"We’re providing £155 million to help passengers save money on fares, get more people on the bus and protect vital bus routes – helping with the cost of living and enabling people to get where they need to in an affordable and convenient way."