Transparency data

Bus subsidy per passenger journey

Bus subsidy per passenger journey input indicator.

Documents

Measurement template

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The full guidance notes on DfT bus statistics

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Net government support for local bus services and concessionary travel per passenger journey by metropolitan area status: England, annual

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Detail

DfT Business Plan input indicator

Geographical coverage: England

Information broken down by: Region, data are available for London, English metropolitan areas (as a group), and English non-metropolitan areas (as a group)

Latest data

In the year ending March 2014, the average level of subsidy (direct from central government in the form of Bus Service Operators Grant, BSOG) per passenger journey was 6.3 pence.

Table for bus subsidy (Bus Service Operators Grant) per passenger journey

Most recent data  
Year Subsidy per Journey (year ending March 2014 prices)
year ending March 2013 7.6p
year ending March 2014 6.3p
Percentage change -17%

The complete set of data is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/bus05-subsidies-and-concessions

In the year ending 2014, the average level of subsidy (direct from central government) per passenger journey was 6.3 pence. This decreased (adjusted for inflation) from 10.5 pence in the year ending March 2005. The rate at which BSOG is paid was cut by 20% from April 2012. From October 2013, BSOG for London was devolved to Transport for London and therefore these figures include only spend for half of the year ending March 2014 for London.

English non-metropolitan areas had the highest level of subsidy per passenger journey (13.0 pence in year ending March 2014), London had the lowest level of subsidy per passenger journey (1.8 pence in year ending March 2014) while english metropolitan areas were in between (8.6 pence in year ending March 2014). Comparisons between London and the rest of the country should be made with care. See note in background information below. The London figure in the year ending March 2014 will be affected by the issue noted above.

View this data in an interactive chart

Background information

Lower subsidy per passenger journey will indicate better value for the public purse. However, this could arise as a result of reductions in the most heavily subsidised services – many of which are routes in rural areas which would be unprofitable without public subsidy. Reductions to these services would improve the ‘headline’ measure but would risk making rural communities more isolated.

The figures exclude expenditure on capital projects (e.g. bus lane priority schemes) which benefit the bus industry directly or indirectly. Outside London, the local bus industry is deregulated, but London runs an entirely tendered bus market under the oversight of Transport for London. Given the different market structures, comparisons between London and the rest of country should be made with considerable care.

The indicator is calculated by dividing the total Bus Service Operators’ Grant by the total passenger journeys on buses (this will include concessionary journeys). Further information is available in the measurement template above.

publishing schedule: annually
last updated: 23 September 2014
next update: Autumn 2015

The full guidance notes on DfT bus statistics
Related bus statistics
Research on attitudes to bus travel

Further information

Business Plan 2011-2015
Input and impact indicators
Analyst contact: Matthew Tranter, Bus statistics