'Connecting Britain' report launched

The Confederation of Passenger Transport (the trade association for Britains bus and coach operators) has today launched a major new report titled 'Connecting Britain' which examines the vital role that buses plan in the everyday life of millions of people and the economy the UK.

In particular the report shows that private sector bus companies are providing excellent services for passengers (with 90% cusomer satisfaction) and are delivering improved services, especially in locations where the local authority works in partnership with operators to tackle congestion issues.

The full report can be downloaded (as a PDF) here.

Issued: 10 June 2015. 

90% of PLUSBUS customers are satisfied

A survey carried out by independent watchdog Passenger Focus shows that 90% of PLUSBUS users are either ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ satisfied the integrated ticket, which offers passengers unlimited bus and tram travel in towns and cities from which their rail journey starts or finishes.

Key reasons for the high satisfaction levels were that the ticket is convenient and simple to use, and is good value for money, because it offers unlimited travel with no peak restrictions.

The survey of over 2,000 rail users aimed to measure awareness of PLUSBUS, and how it is used by passengers. The report published today shows that:-

  • 43% of rail passengers are aware of PLUSBUS;
  • 70% of PLUSBUS users own a car, showing that the ticket encourages people to opt for the bus rather than driving;
  • 20% of prospective PLUSBUS users said they would buy a ticket having recently been introduced to it.

The survey results help to explain the growth in PLUSBUS, with almost a million tickets now sold every year, a doubling in the last five years.

Jonathan Radley, Commercial Director of PLUSBUS, said: “I am delighted that 9 in 10 customers are satisfied with their PLUSBUS ticket. This demonstrates that Britain’s only nationwide multi-modal and multi-operator travel ticket continues to be a huge success.”

“We’re pleased that customers recognise the benefits of convenience and value it provides, but we are keen to encourage more rail passengers to use PLUSBUS. We will continue to work with industry partners to further promote PLUSBUS and raise awareness to both customers and the staff who sell it.”

The full news release can be viewed here. A PowerPoint presentation of the full PLUSBUS research results can be viewed here.

Issued: Monday 23 March 2015. 

Bus passenger satisfaction at an all time high.

The results of the 2014 Bus Passenger Survey carried out by Passenger Focus were announced on 12 March.  The Survey shows that overall 88% of bus passengers are satisfied with their bus services. Over 47,000 bus passengers took part in the Survey across England and Scotland – the largest ever carried out.

Simon Posner of the bus operators assocation said: “Yet again, overall passenger satisfaction rates remain exceptionally high. Bus operators can be justifiably proud to receive an 88% overall satisfaction rating, and it is all the more important as it is the people who really matter – the passengers – who are giving their bus services the thumbs-up. Simply put, Britain’s bus companies continue to deliver great services for their customers, day in and day out."

Southeastern ticket vending machines now sell PLUSBUS

Self-service ticket vending machines at stations managed by Southeastern are now offering customers PLUSBUS day tickets for the destination town of their rail journey. Stations on their route include: London Charing Cross, Ashford, Canterbury, Chatham, Dartford, Dover, Eastbourne, Folkestone, Gravesend, Hastings, Maidstone, Margate, Ramsgate and Tunbridge Wells. 

Jonathan Radley of PLUSBUS said: "Having all the Southeastern ticket vending machines retailing PLUSBUS day tickets is a great development. It makes it easier and more convenient for rail passengers in a hurry to buy bus travel for the destination town of their rail journey when buying their train ticket."

There are now six Train Operating Companies whose self-service ticket vending machines offer customers the opportunity to buy a PLUSBUS day ticket for their destination town. The others are: abellio Greater Anglia, East Midlands Trains, Southern, South West Trains and Virgin Trains. Over the next six months more Train Companies are expected to follow suit and programme PLUSBUS into their self-service machines at stations. 

Issued 2 Dec 2014.

Rail commuters can save £££'s 

A recent survey by found that, on average a rail commuter could save £89 a month by travelling to the station by bus with a PLUSBUS season ticket (instead of driving & parking at the rail station). The biggest saving found was in Newcastle where parking at the station costs £243 a month. Whereas a Newcastle PLUSBUS season ticket is just £51.60 a month - giving a whopping monthly saving of £191.40!

To view the survey results click here.


Virgin Trains ticket vending machines now sell PLUSBUS

Virgin Trains (the west coast intercity rail operator) has just completed programming all the self-service ticket vending machines at its stations to offer customers PLUSBUS day tickets for their destination town. Stations on their route include: London Euston, Rugby, Coventry, Birmingham New Street, Stafford, Crewe, Stockport, Manchester Piccadilly, Warrington Bank Quay, Preston and Carlisle.

Jonathan Radley of PLUSBUS said: "Having all the Virgin Trains self-service ticket vending machines retailing PLUSBUS day tickets is a great development. It'll make it easier and more convenient for west coast customers to buy bus travel for the destination town of their rail journey when buying their train ticket."

There are now five Train Operating Companies whose self-service ticket vending machines offer customers the opportunity to buy a PLUSBUS day ticket for their destination town. The others are: abellio Greater Anglia, East Midlands Trains, Southern and South West Trains. Over the next six months more Train Companies are expected to follow  and programme PLUSBUS into their self-service machines at stations. 

issued: 8 August 2014.

New 'TwoTogether' Railcard launched

National Rail has today (3 March) launched a new Railcard, the first new one for nearly thirty years! The 'TwoTogether' Railcard gives one third off standard priced train fares and also one-third off PLUSBUS day ticket prices for two adults travelling together. The discount is available after 09:30hours Monday to Friday and all day Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays.

Bus travel 'a third less stressful than driving the car'

New research shows that taking the bus (instead of the car) can reduce mental stress by a third.

The study by Dr David Lewis from The University of Sussex, who coined the term “road rage”, found that motorists face a hidden mental health impact from the stresses of driving, while bus travel can produce long-term health benefits.

For the experiment, the heart rate and EDR (Electro-Dermal Response) of 30 commuters was measured when taking similar journeys by car and bus. The findings reveal a vast difference in EDR, a form of biophysical measurement that Dr Lewis describes as an excellent indicator of mental stress.

When examining the EDR results, the experiment found that taking the car produced significantly greater amounts of stress than taking the bus, which was 33% less stressful.

“EDR can be a hidden stress – it’s not as visible as ‘white knuckle driving’ or audible as road rage. This type of stress can have long-term physiological and emotional implications. Boarding a bus can produce significant long-term health benefits,” said Dr Lewis.

Dr David Lewis says there are three key factors that reduce the attraction and increase the stresses of driving a car.

1.  Driving in heavy traffic – especially against a deadline – requires a high level of vigilance, even for experienced motorists. This requires the brain to work especially hard processing a myriad of incoming information and making, often split-second, decisions.


2.  Congestion and delays can raise blood pressure and physical tension which may manifest itself as ‘road rage’, a term coined by Dr Lewis in 1985 to describe the explosive outbursts of anger shown by some motorists. Increases in blood pressure can have serious long-term health consequences as well as causing drivers sometimes to take reckless and foolish decisions behind the wheel.


3. A sense of frustration of ‘wasting one’s life’ behind the wheel of the car, unable to do anything more productive than casual conversations or listening to the radio. On a bus it is possible to fill the time more profitably by doing some work or reading.

He also notes that trained, professional bus drivers are skilled in negotiating the challenges of the road, and the relief of trusting someone else to be in charge of the journey, is a key part of what makes taking the bus less stressful.


“This study shows that driving in congested traffic, now outweighs any previous benefits that driving in a private car once gave,” said Dr Lewis.



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Page last updated: 23/03/2015.