Bus journeys plummet by 31%

27 Mar 2024
Daniel O'Malley - Transport spokesperson

SNP Government of "decimating Scotland's bus network" as new figures published today reveal that bus journeys have plummeted by 31% since 2011.  

New figures published by Transport Scotland show that whereas there were 436 million bus journeys in Scotland in 2011, there were just 301 million in 2022- a fall of 31%. The number of bus journeys is also down by 17% from pre-pandemic numbers in 2019, when there were 361 million journeys.

Earlier this month, Liberal Democrat Willie Rennie MSP questioned the SNP Government following revelations that it had spent less than 6% of their now-cancelled Bus Partnership fund to improve bus services.

Mr O’Malley said:

“The SNP have decimated Scotland’s bus network.

“They have slashed funding and support, leaving many operators in the lurch. Now, those operators are facing suppressed passenger demand, driver shortages, surging costs for fuel, spare parts and tyres.

“If we want to convince people to make more journeys by bus, we need a system that is affordable, reliable and joined up.  

“That’s why Scottish Liberal Democrats would enhance support for the bus network and put communities in charge of where and when buses go by adopting the Transport for London model.”

You can find the full statistics here

To improve public transport more generally, Scottish Liberal Democrats would:

  • Cut rail fares and introduce new options for two/three day a week season tickets.
  • Explore new rail lines, especially in areas where public transport links are poor.
  • Introduce powerful regional transport partnerships to take control of bus services, following the Transport for London model.
  • Introduce a Scotland wide smart card system for all forms of transport.
  • Establish a reliable ferry service for island communities across Scotland.
  • Extend the under-22s bus pass to inter-island ferries.
  • Avoid future cut-off dates on Serco NorthLink ferries by establishing a rolling booking system that is open for a year in advance.