Slump in people using buses in Lancashire

There were 44m bus passenger journeys in Lancashire between April 2017 and March 2018
There were 44m bus passenger journeys in Lancashire between April 2017 and March 2018
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New figures show fewer people are taking local buses in Lancashire.

The latest Department for Transport data shows there were 44m bus passenger journeys in the county between April 2017 and March 2018, 1.1m fewer than in the previous year.

In Lancashire, central and local government spent £4m on local bus services during the 12 months to March 2018 – a 51 per cent decrease in eight years.

Nearly half of all bus routes in England receive partial or complete subsidies from councils.

The Local Government Association has warned these services are at risk unless councils are given more funding.

In Lancashire, 31 per cent of the local bus passengers journeys were taken by elderly or disabled people with some kind of discount in 2017-18.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “Buses are vital for connecting people, homes and businesses, which is why we help subsidise costs by around £250m every year and support local authority spending.

“Local authorities spend a further £1bn on the free bus pass scheme, benefiting older and disabled people across the country.

“We have also recently published our plans to make bus travel more convenient for passengers by ensuring better access to real-time information on fares, routes and services.”

Across England, local bus passenger journeys decreased by two per cent from 2016-17 to 2017-18, to 4.36bn journeys.