As fuel prices spiral during the ongoing cost-of-living crisis Somerset County Council and Somerset Bus Partnership are joining forces to encourage people to ‘BUS IT’.
The campaign aims to highlight that with households under financial pressure buses have never been more relevant, offering a cheaper travel alternative and the chance to save on fuel and vehicle maintenance costs, while at the same time protecting the environment by helping to cut congestion and reducing your carbon footprint.
Following the withdrawal of the government’s Bus Recovery Grant, bus operators are currently weighing up the viability of routes in Somerset, and one of the key factors operators will use in assessing viability is the number of passengers on each route.
Bus use in Somerset is slowly climbing again, but is currently at about 70 per cent of levels compared to pre-Covid. In particular, patronage among bus pass holders is lower than before.
Many bus pass holders aren’t making the most of their free travel. Concessionary passes provide free off-peak travel to all users across Somerset and England. To find out how to apply for your bus pass via the Somerset County Council website.
The BUS IT campaign page carries information and links to operators so you can find out about ticket deals, including Buses of Somerset, which offers a range of competitive deals including for example a £100 ticket bundle of 20 day tickets – that’s unlimited travel for £5 per day. This is ideal for flexible working as the journeys can be used on any day and are valid for a year.
Executive Lead Member for Transport and Digital, Cllr Mike Rigby, Mike Rigby, said: “We need to make sure more people are using the bus to try and protect routes.
“The best way to do this is to use it and there are lots of compelling reasons why now more than ever it is a great alternative. Running a car is not just about what you put in your fuel tank, it is how much you have to spend on, parking, taxing, servicing and insuring your vehicle. Now’s the time to look at what you could be saving.
“By catching the bus, you can make a demonstrable difference to our environment and can save money and wear and tear on your car.
“You can find all sorts of deals with bus operators which can save you money. We all know it makes sense so let’s BUS IT !”
Peter Travis, Co-Chair of the Somerset Bus Partnership, which represents passengers, added: “”Getting more people to BUS IT both helps bus operators keep their fares down and means bus users keep their bus services, so, it’s a win-win.
“We fully support the campaign – please BUS IT if you can, save money, protect bus routes and protect the environment.”