Boxing Day success on the buses

Rise in festive passengers announced.

Bus use in the West Midlands saw a Boxing Day boom as passengers took to the network.

Newly compiled figures show a total of 276,083 passengers made journeys across the region, an 11% rise on the previous year which was 246,963

There were 40 special tax-payer funded routes in operation by National Express West Midlands, Arriva, Diamond and iGo across the region thanks to Centro, the delivery arm of the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority . They were bolstering 176 commercial services operating at Sunday levels that day.

Cllr John McNicholas, the chair of Centro’s Transport Delivery Committee, said: “I am delighted to see that even more people have used the bus. I am particularly pleased that the routes we have subsidised are shown to be valued by passengers, which shows there is a need regardless of whether they are commercially viable.

“Whether it is to get them to things like the start of the sales or to visit friends and family these figures show that the bus really does provide a viable alternative to the car.”

Boxing Day services saw the return in Coventry of seven evening services following a successful trial in 2014. 23,309 people used buses in the city on Boxing Day, a 12% rise on the 22 routes the previous year.