Last reviewed 23 September 2020

Bus and coach passenger charity, Bus Users, recently carried out a survey of 440 people to find out how they felt about returning to passenger transport travel now that lockdown has eased in most areas.

This was meant to provide a snapshot of people’s attitudes towards bus and coach travel, looking particularly at changes in passenger behaviour now, the rules on bus and coach travel have been relaxed to allow for non-essential journeys.

The headline finding was that almost one-third (32%) of respondents reported not currently using the bus compared to just 1% who were not doing so before the lockdown.

The survey also showed that 56% of respondents reported using the coach before lockdown but 60% said that was no longer the case. The reasons for this were mixed with concerns around Covid-19 and a preference for other modes of transport among the most common reasons given.

On a more positive note, 40% said that they will use the bus more in future.

As to reasons why people are not yet returning to bus travel, 70% were concerned about other passengers not wearing face coverings and 63% of people with a medical exemption say they do not feel comfortable travelling without a face covering.

Of this latter group, some feel so uncomfortable that 39% said that they would wear a face covering when travelling, even though they have a medical exemption.

There has been virtually no reported change in the number of people whose children will be travelling to school by bus, and while some people reported concerns around Covid-19, many (31%) reported having no choice.

In conclusion, Bus Users said: “Government, local authorities and operators need to do more to ensure that people feel safe and confident about travelling by bus and particularly by coach. More also needs to be done to improve awareness of medical exemptions to wearing face coverings so that people unable to wear a mask can travel without being made to feel uncomfortable, challenged or even abused by others.”

For more details of the survey, see bususers.org.