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More Questions than Answers on Bus Punctuality

Today the Transport Minister Keith Brown answered a number of questions that Patrick put to him regarding bus cost and bus punctuality.  In the answers it was clear that the Government is not keeping tabs on the bus companies despite the public subsidy that these companies receive.

 

Patrick also asked whether the government whether it had considered introducing a scheme to subsidise bus fares so that they cost no more than the equivalent journey by car.

 

The full questions are listed below:
Patrick Harvie (Glasgow) (Scottish Green Party): To ask the Scottish Executive  what data it or its agencies collect on (a) punctuality of bus services, (b) bus ticket prices and (c) bus passenger experience, broken down by (i) operator and (ii) local authority.

Mr Keith Brown MSP :
Information on the punctuality of bus services is not held centrally.

Table 6 in Bus and Coach Statistics: 2010-11 provides information on bus ticket prices. This can be found at:
http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/files/documents/public-transport/Bus_and_Coach_Statistics_2010-11.pdf

Tables 13 of Scottish Household Survey: Transport Local Area Analysis 2009-10 provides information on the bus passenger experience. This can be found at:
http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/node/7644

Patrick Harvie (Glasgow) (Scottish Green Party): To ask the Scottish Executive  whether it holds bus service data broken down by (a) region and (b) company.
Mr Keith Brown MSP :
This information is not held centrally. Bus operators must register local services with the Office of the Traffic Commissioner. There is a search facility for bus service registrations on the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency web site at: http://www.tan.gov.uk/tanen/VOSA_SelfServiceOpBusRegSearch_New.asp.

Patrick Harvie (Glasgow) (Scottish Green Party): To ask the Scottish Executive  what percentage of buses has been on time in each year from 2005 to 2011, broken down by (a)  local authority and (b) operator.

Mr Keith Brown MSP :
The information requested is not held centrally.

Patrick Harvie (Glasgow) (Scottish Green Party): To ask the Scottish Executive  what consideration it has given to introducing a scheme to subsidise bus fares so that they cost no more than the equivalent journey by car.

Mr Keith Brown MSP :
The Scottish Government provides annual grants to the bus industry (£50m in the current financial year), the aim of which is to keep fares at affordable levels and enable bus operators to run services that might not otherwise be commercially viable. This substantial subsidy, Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG), supports the overall bus network.