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To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect of changes to bus fares on passenger behaviour.
The Department for Transport’s WebTAG guidance recommends assuming that a 1% increase in bus fares will reduce trips by 0.3%. In the longer term there will be greater reductions in passenger trips. After 5 years, a 1% increase in bus fares will reduce the number of trips by 0.6% and after 10 years or longer a 1% increase in bus fares will reduce the number of trips by 0.7%.
However, it is important to note that these figures are based on past trends and there is significant uncertainty around them.
There have been important changes to the UK bus market in the last 10 years. The introduction of free travel for elderly and disabled people in 2008 means that the total number of trips is likely to be less responsive to a fare increase than it has been in the past. Furthermore, the Bus Services Act 2017 presents local authorities with new powers to bring about change, and unlock the potential for the bus industry to achieve more for passengers than it has in the past. Additionally, measures requiring bus operators to open up data about fares and tickets, included in the Bus Services Act 2017, will make it easier for passengers to search for best value tickets and will ensure they have a better understanding of the transport options available to them.