Where outside London is public transport modal share highest?

Discussion in 'Other Public Transport' started by Comstock, 6 Aug 2019.

  1. Comstock

    Comstock Member

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    Hope I'm in the right forum here.

    What city outside London has the highest share of public transport use? Birmingham? Manchester? Or perhaps it's somewhere like Oxford or Cambridge? Or the North East?
     
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  3. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Would it be Liverpool or Glasgow?
     
  4. Hophead

    Hophead Member

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    CityMetric crunched some numbers with the 2011 statistics. They concluded that the top 5 were Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Brighton, Newcastle.

     
  5. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    For buses it's Brighton and then Nottingham I believe.
     
  6. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    Bristol is another funny one, only 2% rail and 10% bus but a whopping 20% of people walk to work which actually brings its car usage below the national average. (also 7.7% cycle well above national average of 2%)
     
  7. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    Bristol was named third worst city for congestion in one study earlier this year, but seventh in another a few months later.
     
  8. AlbertBeale

    AlbertBeale Member

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    If Brighton does have the highest bus usage (and the service is fairly good compared to many similar-sized towns outside London - though I think the local authority have done a lot over the years to try to ensure that ... but where's the cause and effect as between good service and high usage?), I suspect it's not so much to do with people not using their cars, but because it's pretty hilly (so more car-less people [than would otherwise be the case] get a bus for short-ish distances rather than walking), and because there's a big student population who're largely car-less and have campuses a few miles from where lots of them live. [The students have upped the local railway traffic between Brighton and Falmer massively as well; when Sussex University was new, with only a handful of people, Falmer still felt like little more than a rural halt. In fact, without the university being imminent, I wonder whether the station would have survived the just-post-Beeching era? And passengers are presumably still increasing - it's just recently gone up to a 10-minute-interval service into Brighton.

    When I lived in Brighton, it seemed sufficiently compact that nearly all the main areas around town I frequented were walkable - but then I didn't have many friends at the top of hills; and anyway, I was still unprincipled enough to use a car in those days...
     
  9. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    I studied at Bristol University in the mid 1980s and found it an extremely hilly city, probably more so than any other in England, though I don't know Sheffield. The figures posted earlier in the thread show that bus usage in Bristol is very low, yet walking to work is done by 20%, and I'm sure Bristol's chronic traffic problems are a substantial reason for this, given the low priority given to buses on the road until recently. It was a huge problem 30 plus years ago, leading to my being half an hour late for my first lecture on the first day, even though I'd left home an hour earlier than theoretically required. I lived in Hengrove and had no other way of getting to the top of Park Street than a bus past Temple Meads, and even then only to the Centre. I couldn't afford the time or fare to get another bus from Centre to Park Street, so always lugged myself up the hill, but I did acquire a second hand Mini eventually, preferring the hassle of finding a free parking space within a mile or so every day! So, buses are great if they're reliable, affordable (and the fares were always on the high side in Bristol with its monopolistic provider) and go where you want. I actually had the choice of three buses, but each one from not only a different stop but a different road on the inward journey, yet all three proceeded in exactly the same direction out of Bristol on the other side, rather than diverging to give a choice of destinations. I found it all most frustrating and it's always coloured my views on Bristol Cityline, Badgerline and the later creation of the ironically-named First, though the relevant local authorities also play a huge part.
     
  10. apk55

    apk55 Member

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    Another question that should be asked is why public transport usage in some cities particularly Manchester and to a lesser extent Birmingham is so low. Is this due to the nature of employment, poor uncoordinated public transport or other reasons
     
  11. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Obviously they suffer from bus deregulation, which also severely hinders the ability to provide coordinated and integrated networks with local rail/trams.
     
  12. duesselmartin

    duesselmartin Established Member

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    I can only give a German example ( Duisburg ) but I guess it works the same in most place.
    High unemployment rates equals less journeys.
    Less taxes being payed meaning less subsidies.
    This means less money for the transport company so services are cut meaning less passengers again reducing income. A fare hike again means less passengers.
    So in a poor community public transport cannot win.
     
  13. 158756

    158756 Member

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    That affects all areas outside London though. From the populations given we must be considering Greater Manchester and the West Midlands former metropolitan counties. Both have large areas with poor or non existent suburban rail services, and very limited tram systems (the numbers are from 2011, so before the expansion of Metrolink in Manchester). They don't have the natural obstacles to road traffic Liverpool or Newcastle have, or the road and parking constraints of the historic cities. The outer reaches of the West Midlands and Greater Manchester are probably too far to effectively serve by bus (deregulation might have some effect here, but you can still only offer connections of there is a quality rail or tram service to connect to), and there are multiple smaller town centres further out which are more like Stoke or Burnley (which you'll notice at the bottom of the table in the linked article) than a major city.
     
  14. apk55

    apk55 Member

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    Poorly coordinated public transport is defiantly a factor in poor public usage in Manchester. Do not forget that the vast majority of employment in Manchester is not in the city center but in industrial estates and satellite towns and journeys could involve a change of mode so costly. (Example - where I live not one of my neighbors works in the city center and this is in road by Metrolink in Altrincham). Also the problem of cross border transport needs to be addressed - Manchester effectively merges into Liverpool in places, also North Cheshire and Lancashire.
     
  15. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    That's obviously the main issue. Buses have to be operated at minimum cost with fares that maximise revenue.

    There has always been scope for integration with rail, even before Metrolink. Under a Swiss-style system, you would buy a ticket from, say, Rochdale zone to Manchester zone, meaning that you effectively get a free bus to Rochdale station. And how many buses go to Rochdale station? Just the 471. In any normal town in Europe, most buses in Rochdale would stop at both the town centre and the rail station.

    Given the number of radial lines in South Manchester, there is plenty of scope for east-west routes connecting with tram and train stations and that applied even before Metrolink. But such services are so poor that it is usually better to go in and out of the city centre.

    But the main issue is that buses are not even co-ordinated with each other and, other than day tickets, through fares are not available.
     
  16. Jozhua

    Jozhua Member

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    I live just over a mile out of Manchester in Salford and still feel somewhat cut off, if that gives anyone an idea of how bad things are in Manchester.

    Other than contactless payments, the bus system is frankly years behind Nottingham! Prices for buses are terribly high as well, I usually walk for 30/40 mins or get the train in that takes about the same time (due to the walk to the station) for a fraction of the cost of a bus.

    I love the tooting Metrolink trams, but some of the lines are awfully slow!
     
  17. Andyh82

    Andyh82 Established Member

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    That will have some effect but is not the main reason

    However well integrated or not, once someone commute starts to involve 2 modes, then the car becomes more attractive.
     
  18. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Switzerland achieves high modal share using conveniently designed connections.
     
  19. 158756

    158756 Member

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    The service level at the heavy rail stations isn't really good enough to serve them just for connections. Even in the case of Levenshulme and Heaton Chapel it'd be safer and not much slower to go for the 192 if you were changing there off an orbital bus. Integration with heavy rail is also outwith the power of Andy Burnham, so the best bets for connections in south Manchester are going to be on Metrolink.
     
  20. paddington

    paddington Member

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    When I travel (and plan my travel) in Switzerland, I really don't consider buses, trams and trains to be different "modes" - a few times I have written down a route number in my plan and then been surprised that it was a bus when I was expecting a tram or something like that
     

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