Bus travel is going in the wrong direction in Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 08:05 16 February 2018 | UPDATED: 08:05 16 February 2018
A better, more reliable public transport system which reduces the number of cars on our roads has long been the dream for passengers and community leaders.
Sadly, today’s figures on bus travel in East Anglia show we are very much heading in the wrong direction.
Instead of increasing the use of buses, the number of journeys made on them has steadily declined over the past five years - to a point where millions fewer trips are being taken.
Some people may blame the general public for choosing to get in their cars when there are buses available to use - adding to road congestion and making it more difficult for operators to make a profit.
But the reality is that the bus is simply not a viable option for many people in the region.
While there is a regular service in many urban areas, vast parts of our region are rural.
Those areas are poorly served by buses, particularly during early mornings and late evenings when many people need to travel.
Bus companies, it can be argued, are not entirely to blame for that - subsidies from the government have been cut so much they cannot keep all services on the road.
It is a vicious circle where less usage means fewer and fewer services. But if politicians think that a more comprehensive and sustainable public transport system is crucial to our future, they need to find the solution.