National Express West Midlands bus in Druids Heath, Birmingham

People who travel in Birmingham are being invited to take part in a survey which seeks to better understand why they do, or don’t use the bus.

Birmingham City Council is currently working to create a ‘clean air city’, including the introduction of a Clean Air Zone from 2020. Core part of this work involves encouraging people to change their travel habits by switching from their cars to more sustainable forms of transport.

However, while figures show good levels of satisfaction among bus users, the total number of journeys being made by bus in the region is actually declining year upon year. In particular, there has been a decrease in the number of bus trips being made into the city centre.

The Birmingham Bus Survey seeks to better understand people’s experiences of bus travel and how it can be improved to encourage greater take-up, which in turn would help reduce air pollution and congestion on the city’s roads.

Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Birmingham City Council, said: “Buses are absolutely vital here in Birmingham and across the West Midlands. However, bus usage across the region has been decreasing, particularly among those who have been travelling into the city centre.

“I want to know what could be done to encourage people to make more of their journeys by bus and to ensure the bus is seen as an attractive, accessible and affordable option for every citizen of Birmingham.

“To this end, I am launching the Birmingham Bus Survey and invite anyone who travels in Birmingham to respond, whether they currently use the bus, by choice or necessity, or haven’t caught a bus in years.

“In fact, if we are to get to the heart of why more people are not using the bus, it is essential that we hear from those very people who are NOT regular bus users.

“The responses will enable us to help improve reliability of bus services across Birmingham and campaign with transport providers here in our city for a more accessible, more affordable network of buses right across the city which caters for the needs of our citizens.”

The survey which closes in March can be found on the Birmingham Be Heard Website at www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/economy/bus-survey