Bus 2020 – The case of the bus pass
produced by Green Journeys (September 2015)
In producing this paper, Greener Journeys has worked with KPMG LLP to assess the benefits of
concessionary bus pass schemes. It found that each £1 spent on concessionary bus travel generates at least £2.87 in benefits to bus pass users and to the wider economy. Also, older and disabled people have easier access to the services they need. They can take part in many activities that would not be affordable without the free bus pass. It also found that the schemes deliver important benefits to everyone. Their freedom to travel means that older people can contribute more actively as volunteers, as mentors, organising events and raising funds. They gain new opportunities to look after children and to care for others.
Free bus passes encourage older people to be more physically active, and as a result their health and well-being is better. With free bus passes, older people get out more and are less likely to feel lonely and isolated. This can only be good for their mental and physical health. Bus passes mean that more people go shopping on their high streets. There are savings too, for social services and community transport. With people more likely to take buses instead of using their cars, resulting in cleaner air and safer and less congested roads.
It is claimed that their analysis shows that the benefits of concessionary bus travel are real and the UK cannot afford to lose them. However, there is a challenge for the future as the average age
of the country’s population is set to increase over the next 20 years,
Greener Journeys is a coalition of Britain’s leading bus companies and other supporters including Transport for London, RAC Foundation, Passenger Focus, Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), Passenger Transport Executive Group (PTEG), and Campaign for Better Transport. Its primary funders are bus companies Arriva, FirstGroup, Go-Ahead and Stagecoach.