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Bus market inquiry launched

16 July 2018

The Transport Committee has launched an inquiry into how bus services are run in England outside London.

Bus service in decline

Bus service use is in decline in England, according to annual statistics from the Department for Transport. While bus use per person has increased by 52% in London over the last 25 years, it has fallen by 40% in other metropolitan areas.

Inquiry details

During the inquiry, MPs will consider:

  • bus service reliability
  • how services are run in metro-mayor, metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas
  • how they are financed
  • examples of innovation and best practice 

Submit your views

To investigate the above issues further, the Transport Committee want to hear your views.

You can submit written evidence by completing our online submission form.

The deadline for written submissions is Monday 24 September 2018.

We are particularly interested in evidence on:

  • the effectiveness of the Department for Transport's bus policies
  • factors affecting bus use, including reliability, congestion and the ways bus companies are dealing with congestion, and the effectiveness of bus priority measures (for example bus lanes and priority signalling)
  • how bus services are provided to isolated rural and urban communities and their dependence on services
  • the viability and sustainability of bus services, including the effectiveness of funding, fare structures and public grants
  • regulations affecting bus service provision and the quality of guidance to operators and local authorities

Find out more about the inquiry

Browse all publications including transcripts and written evidence from the bus market inquiry.

"Buses are a vital lifeline in many communities"

When announcing the inquiry, Committee Chair Lilian Greenwood said:

"There are a number of reasons for the sharp decline in bus use in England outside London over the past 25 years. Congestion, car ownership, an increase in online shopping, and reductions in local authority subsidies all play a part.

Our inquiry seeks to gather evidence about the health and future of the bus market.

We will look at operational factors including the impact of congestion and reliability. We'll be asking about the most effective models for bus companies.

The financing of buses, investment in services and value for money and progress since the Bus Services Act 2017 in metro and non-metro areas will all come under consideration.

Buses are a vital lifeline in many communities but with funding streams falling and fares rising, their availability and attractiveness to the travelling public is under threat.

A successful bus market can cut congestion, reduce social isolation, help the environment and offer a variety of economic benefits. I would encourage anyone with insight into this sector to submit evidence."

Further information

Image: PA