Train Graphic
Great Western Passengers' Forum
GWR advice during Coronavirus
Coffee Shop during Coronavirus
Please - Do NOT travel unless you have to!
Great Western Coffee Shop - [home] and [about]
Read about the forum [here].
Register [here] - it's free.
What do I gain from registering? [here]
 02/06/2020 - Tuesday Club - ONLINE
05/06/2020 - World Environment Day
10/06/2020 - MRUG meeting - ONLINE
11/06/2020 - Community Rail Dinner - CANX
Random Image
Train Running @GWR Twitter Acronyms/Abbreviations Station Comparator Rail news GWR co. site Site Style 1 2 3 4
Next departures • Bristol Temple MeadsBath SpaChippenhamSwindonDidcot ParkwayReadingLondon PaddingtonMelksham
Exeter St DavidsTauntonWestburyTrowbridgeBristol ParkwayCardiff CentralOxfordCheltenham SpaBirmingham New Street
May 31, 2020, 08:02:22 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Forgotten your username or password? - get a reminder
Most liked recent subjects
[122] Free Bus Travel In Cornwall
[91] A little "where was I" end of week distraction quiz
[78] IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent pe...
[73] 29.5.20 Marvin Rees's Mayor of Bristol team talks to/with Trav...
[56] Planning for restoration of services
[34] You're A Journalist? Really?
News: A forum for passengers ... with input from rail professionals welcomed too
   Home   Help Search Calendar Login Register  
Pages: [1]
Author Topic: Loss of commercial bus services?  (Read 259 times)
Hero Member
Posts: 29483

View Profile WWW Email
« on: March 26, 2020, 04:45:04 pm »

mirror at

Scheduled public bus services outside London fall into two groups - commercial services, where a bus company operates a service for profit, and supported services where a unitary or county council contracts operation of a route or journeys because there's a social or economic need for it, but no bus company believes they can run it commercially for a profit.

Commercial bus companies rely on fare box revenue, and on payments for senior and disabled people travelling on ENCTS cards, as their prime sources of income.  With the current "do not travel unless you have to" rules, commercial buses have seen passenger numbers plummet, and with it their income. Staff bills may largely be supported by the government, but other expenses are not.

Some services, already thin, have been cut back so that they're no longer of any use to the key workers who still need to travel, and incomes have drained away.  Passenger habits, too, have had to change and there is little prospect of a quick return to previous levels.  No only are we loosing commercial services vital to key workers, but we're loosing them in such a way that they won't be easily restored.

Supported services are slightly more robust as the operators are paid to run the buses whether or not there are passengers.   However, contracts vary and on some contracts fare box income is important.   And subsidising council monies are limited, with the prospect of them being stretched further in the future as services which were commercial have been tipped over the line to needing support.

That is the background to this letter from TravelWatch SouthWest to Simon Jupp, MP for East Devon and a member of the Transport Select Committee.

Simon Jupp, MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA

Dear Mr Jupp

I have been asked by our members to seek your help with the following:

There is widespread interest amongst communities across the TravelWatch SouthWest region in
any potential plans that the Government may have to step in with specific support for the bus
services operating during this extraordinary time. Despite the Prime Ministerís evident enthusiasm
for buses, bus userís complain that they are treated as a poor relation in public transport.

Essential journeys are impossible for key groups
The exceptional impact of coronavirus on bus usage is causing hardship and rendering many routes
unsustainable. There is a serious threat to the viability of the national network in the short and long
term and a real risk that operators will fold, and their routes never revived.

Short term impact
  Most immediately the people affected are public health workers, the vulnerable, and those in rural
communities. In increasing numbers, these groups find themselves unable to make essential
  journeys. Commercial bus companies cannot afford to carry the entire cost of these services.

Action to be taken
The government need to step in and make money available from the Treasury. The simplest and
most workable way to deal with this is by increasing BSOG dramatically and a correspondingly
substantial increase in devolved BSOG. This capitalizes on the system is already in place and
enables small operators to access help directly.

 A lack of action will undermine the network to an extent that it will be unlikely to recover. There will
be a long-term behavioral impact from this as those who are able return to cars. This is a deeply
  worrying prospect for us all, given the remaining challenge of environmental emissions and climate

I hope you can progress this matter urgently and look forward to hearing from you very soon.

Best wishes
Bryony Chetwode
Company Secretary Ė TravelWatch SouthWest CIC
secretary @

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
Do you have something you would like to add to this thread, or would you like to raise a new question at the Coffee Shop? Please [register] (it is free) if you have not done so before, or login (at the top of this page) if you already have an account - we would love to read what you have to say!

You can find out more about how this forum works [here] - that will link you to a copy of the forum agreement that you can read before you join, and tell you very much more about how we operate. We are an independent forum, provided and run by customers of Great Western Railway, for customers of Great Western Railway and we welcome railway professionals as members too, in either a personal or official capacity. Views expressed in posts are not necessarily the views of the operators of the forum.

As well as posting messages onto existing threads, and starting new subjects, members can communicate with each other through personal messages if they wish. And once members have made a certain number of posts, they will automatically be admitted to the "frequent posters club", where subjects not-for-public-domain are discussed; anything from the occasional rant to meetups we may be having ...

Pages: [1]
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.2 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
This forum is provided by a customer of Great Western Railway (formerly First Great Western), and the views expressed are those of the individual posters concerned. Visit for the official Great Western Railway website. Please contact the administrators of this site if you feel that the content provided by one of our posters contravenes our posting rules (email link). Forum hosted by Well House Consultants

Jump to top of pageJump to Forum Home Page