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Public buses in the UK - statistics & facts

In the mid-twentieth century, public buses were one of the main modes of transportation in the United Kingdom. However, in the years since, the total distance travelled annually by bus or coach within Great Britain has been declining, with figures in 2018 only half the size of those reported in 1960. Today, London is the area seeing the most number of passenger journeys by far, accounting for 45 percent of all passenger journeys in Great Britain. Though overall figures have still been decreasing in recent years. Of bus users, those between 30 and 49 years old spent the most on fares, with an average weekly expenditure of 2.5 British pounds in 2019.

Regional bus market

Most buses in the United Kingdom are operated by the so-called Big 5, which consist of FirstGroup, Stagecoach Group, Go-Ahead Group, National Express and Arriva. In their 2020 financial year, FirstGroup generated 835.9 million British pounds in revenue through its First Bus business segment. By comparison, the Stagecoach Group had made more than one billion British pounds in revenue from its regional operation of buses and an additional 246.2 million British pounds from bus services in London.

Bus manufacturers

In 2020, the leading manufacturers of buses and coaches, as determined by new registrations, were Ford and Mercedes. In the second quarter of 2020, registration figures for Ford amounted to only 74, an increase compared to the same quarter one year prior. The oldest public buses were operated in non-metropolitan areas of England, at 8.4 years, while buses in London were more than two years younger on average.

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Public buses in the United Kingdom

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