Scots unhappy with bus services that are '˜late and poor value'

Two-thirds of Scots are unhappy with their local bus services, according to the findings of a new report.

Derek Mitchell appointed chief executive of Citizens Advice Scotland

The figures from Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) also reveal more than half of the 4,600 surveyed believe buses are often late.

A total of 58 per cent of respondents said they feel their local service offers poor value for money, with concerns too about safety, cleanliness and the quality of fare information.

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CAS chief executive Derek Mitchell said: “Public transport is a social justice issue. People deserve a bus service that is reliable, affordable and pleasant to use, yet it is clear from this research that Scotland’s buses often fail to meet these standards.

“The responses came from all parts of Scotland but there was a notably high rate from people in rural areas, where problems like bus infrequency are often more acute.

“Having gathered this data, CAS will now be meeting with bus companies, local authorities and the Scottish Government to find ways of addressing these issues.

“Our objective here is to create better journeys for the people who rely on bus services.”

The Creating Better Journeys report, part of a Scotland-wide survey, also shows 16 per cent of respondents said they do not have a bus service to the hospital or GP.

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “This government is continuing to spend over £250 million a year to support our vital bus industry, allowing operators to keep fares at affordable levels and provide free bus travel to older and disabled passengers.

“We also provide support to local authorities via the block grant so that they can support necessary bus services. They spent over £50m on bus services in 2016-17.

“Additionally, the forthcoming Transport Bill will empower local authorities by providing options to improve bus services in their areas - giving them a greater choice in how to deliver a sustainable bus network for customers, be that via partnership, local franchising or even directly running their buses.”