Bus Users first Catch the Bus Month has come to an end with groups across the UK finding exciting and creative ways to encourage people to use the bus.
Events kicked off with an official launch at the House of Lords in London and were soon swept along in a tide of face-to-face and online events, campaigns and promotions.
Local bus groups ran drop-in events, drummed up support for petitions against local bus cuts, handed out information and timetables and generally encouraged people to get on board.
Some organisations encouraged their staff to switch from private car to bus travel while operators ran competitions and giveaways with prizes of meals at local restaurants, tickets for shows and free travel, One operator even handed out cakes for commuters while another offered passers-by a free cup of coffee and a chat. Local authorities and councils promoted the benefits of concessionary bus passes, with some lifting restrictions on their use, while transport providers took the opportunity to launch new fleets of electric vehicles, apps, tap-on-tap-off ticketing and other initiatives to improve our journeys.
There was widespread support for Catch the Bus Month from bodies like the Confederation of Passenger Transport, Campaign for Better Transport, the Department for Transport, Combined Authorities and Passenger Transport Executives, with tweets of support from government ministers and local councillors. Catch the Bus Month also saw an announcement from Government of a 3 month fare cap on journeys across England and the celebration of World Car Free Day on 22 September,
Claire Walters, Chief Executive of Bus Users said the campaign had exceeded all expectations: “Bus services are facing unprecedented challenges at the moment so it was amazing to see the incredible support for these vital services. As we have said throughout the campaign, buses contribute to the economy, the environment and our health and wellbeing so cuts to services affect us all.
“Catch the Bus Month is a great way to highlight the benefits of buses and get more people get on board and we are already looking ahead to Catch the Bus Month 2023 which will be even bigger and better.”