Reading bus journeys soar by 1.5 million

The total number of bus journeys in Reading soared by 1.5 million last year – once again confirming bus travel as one of the key ways people get around town.

Latest figures published by the Department for Transport (DfT) show a 9% year-on-year increase in bus travel in Reading. It means that Reading again has the 4th highest bus journeys per head of population outside of London.

In total there were 17.7 million individual bus journeys in Reading last year. That is higher than the number of individual bus journeys in the other five Berkshire authorities put together, which stands at 13.6 million.

There were 4.5 million concessionary pass journeys made in Reading over the same period, as against 4.8 million made in the rest of Berkshire. As a percentage of travel in Reading, this was one in four of the total journeys made.

Cllr Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport said:

“We have known for a long time that the town’s excellent bus service is key to Reading and that is borne out again by these latest figures. Even by Reading’s standards, a rise of nearly 1.5 million individual bus journeys over just one year is astonishing.

“We know that very many Reading residents rely on buses to get around. The key to encouraging bus travel is of course to make services as reliable as possible, which is why the Council will continue to place great importance on keeping bus lanes clear and giving buses priority.”

Rob White, Green Party councillor said: “This is good news. If we are going to tackle Reading’s congestion problems bus travel is definitely a key part of this.

“However, in a compact town like Reading, walking and cycling should be major forms of transport too. Talking to residents there is definitely room for improvement. That is why we are supporting policies like a townwide 20 mph in residential areas.”

The latest bus use statistics – published by the DfT last week – show that for the first time in many years there is an overall small increase in bus use in England outside London.

In terms of journeys per head of population, Brighton leads the way with 167 trips, followed by Nottingham at (156), Tyne & Wear (121) and Reading at 111. Reading’s figure is up from 103 journeys per head last year. The average per head of population outside of London was 51, with the average for the South East standing at 41 journeys per head.

Edited to add Green Party quote

Last modified on Monday, 29 September 2014 17:45