Grant is just the ticket to help smaller bus operators

With bus journeys in Hampshire the highest on record, according to the Department for Transport, Hampshire County Council has confirmed its commitment to make travelling by bus better for everyone with the announcement of a one-off grant fund of £165,000 available to Hampshire’s smaller bus operators to introduce contactless payments

Mar 21 2019

Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport for Hampshire County Council, said: “Hampshire is bucking the national trend with more people taking the bus to get around in Hampshire. Two million more trips were recorded in the past year, according to the latest Government figures. Modern ticketing technology means people can catch the bus without bothering about having the right change, or, in fact, any money on them at all.  As passengers board buses quicker, this speeds up bus journey times and also means less waiting for others on the road as buses pick up passengers at bus stops.”

Hampshire buses provided an impressive 33.5 million journeys last year, a rise from 31.5 million the year before (6.35%), and 30.3 million (10.56%) a decade ago.

Annual figures from the Department for Transport showed total journeys fell across England by 85 million to 43.6 billion over the year (2017/18), a 1.9 per cent fall.

In 2017 Hampshire was the first English county to see the widespread introduction of contactless payments to make bus travel easier and reduce delays at bus stops, following joint investment in contactless technology by the County Council and major bus operators. It is estimated that six million bus journeys in Hampshire were contactless in 2018.

Cllr Humby continued: “With smaller bus operators being able to offer contactless payments, alongside the bigger bus operators as well as other improvements such as free on board WiFi, audio/visual next stop announcements and USB charging points on new vehicles, bus travel in Hampshire offers an up-to-date, comfortable and reliable travel choice. Bus travel in Hampshire is the highest on record and I’m pleased to see our approach to working in partnership with the bus operators is showing results for Hampshire residents."