AS Coventry gears up for its year as the UK’s City of Culture, a city councillor feels there is a real opportunity to encourage more motorists to switch from car to bus.
Frequent bus user councillor Richard Brown, who chairs Coventry City Council’s scrutiny co-ordination committee, is keen to hear what improvements local bus companies plan to introduce and the latest passenger satisfaction rates.
The Cheylesmore Labour councillor believes that in the run up to City of Culture 2021 there will be more demand on bus companies and it is important for visitors to have a good experience of the city.
He said: “For most people ease of use, better frequency and good value are important incentives for bus users. I know that some routes in the city have a better service than others and I understand that companies need to be driven by profits, but with air pollution becoming such a concern for all cities there is a real opportunity to attract motorists to bus travel.
“I am keen to hear from bus companies to understand what plans they have in place. My experience of bus travel is generally positive but I am very aware that the city’s year as UK City of Culture will put the city under the spotlight.
“Passengers will always highlight improved frequencies, routes, and reduced fares. But better links with rail, integrated school transport services and more environmentally friendly buses are also important parts of bus travel.
“Subsided local bus routes are essential to residents but are not always commercially viable.
“I’m keen to know the latest passenger satisfaction rates and to know whether passenger numbers are increasing year on year in Coventry.”
National Express UK Bus report that although other regions in the UK have seen falling passenger numbers, National Express Coventry has seen growth of around 1 per cent year-on-year.
Martin Hancock, development director for National Express UK Bus said: “As part of the West Midlands Bus Alliance National Express Coventry works closely with Coventry City Council, Transport for West Midlands and other partners to continually improve bus services across the region.
“Where other regions in the UK have seen falling passenger numbers, we’re really pleased that National Express Coventry has seen growth of around 1 per cent year-on-year, providing millions of people with access to education, jobs, culture and leisure activities.
“We look forward to continuing to work together on innovations that can enhance the customer experience, reduce congestion and air quality problems across the city and attract new customers to the cleaner, greener mode of travel.”