Scotland’s buses suffer 100m drop in passengers in ten years

Bus passenger numbers across Scotland have dropped dramatically in the past ten years. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Bus passenger numbers across Scotland have dropped dramatically in the past ten years. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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Transport secretary Michael Matheson has expressed “concern” after the fall in Scotland’s bus patronage reached nearly 100 million in ten years.

A total of 388 million journeys were made in 2017-18 compared to 487 million in 2007 – a near a record low. The total was also down by 1.5 per cent from 394 million in 2016.

Buses have been hit by congestion in cities, making them slow and unreliable, while fares in some areas have risen faster than other public transport.

The west of Scotland has been worst hit, but there have been passenger increases in other areas such as the Highlands.

Mr Matheson said: “Although the majority of public transport trips are made by bus, I remain concerned bus use continues to fall – and this is a trend we see across the UK.” He said a new law would give councils more bus powers.