- There were an estimated 9.7 million bus passenger journeys in Somerset in 2015/16.
- 7.5 million of these passenger journeys originated in the county
- Department for Transport (DfT) survey data suggest that 2015/16 experienced the highest number of passengers since 2009/10.
- At 17.7 per head, Somerset has the ninth lowest bus passenger journey per population in England and the lowest in the South West.
- 43% of Somerset bus journeys (4.1 million) in 2015/16 were made by elderly and disabled concessionary passengers.
- The Slinky 'demand responsive transport' service had almost 90,000 single passenger journeys in 2014/15, excluding those who used the Taunton & Wellington service.
Trends in bus passenger journeys
The Department for Transport (DfT) carries out an annual Public Vehicle Survey to estimate bus usage by local authority across England. In addition it collates figures on concessionary bus pass holders, supplied by the Travel Concession Authorities. In Somerset, that is Somerset County Council.
The chart below shows that in Somerset, overall bus passenger journeys are estimated to have fallen between 2009/10 and 2012/13 before picking up in the past three years.
Bus Passenger Journey Trends in Somerset
Source: DfT Public Vehicle Survey
Expressed as a rate per head of population, Somerset's bus usage was the ninth lowest in England.
However, Somerset's journeys per head figure was broadly line with similar counties elsewhere (see chart below).
Bus Passenger Journeys per Head - Somerset and similar authorities
Of these journeys, around 7.5 million originated in Somerset.
Concessionary pass and County Ticket holders
At June 2015, the total number of live concessionary passes issued to senior citizens in Somerset is 116,641, of which just over 112,000 (96%) were age-related and around 4,600 (4%) disability-related. In 2015/16, Somerset concessionary pass holders contributed around 4.1 million passenger journeys in the county.
In addition, 3,221 students have a County Ticket for travel by bus to Further Education Colleges.
Demand Responsive Transport
Somerset has many local community transport schemes, particularly in rural parts of the county. In the year 2014-15, there were 89,972 single passenger journeys were undertaken on the 'Slinky' bus service alone. Note: this excludes the Taunton and Wellington service which, prior to May 2015, collected its data differently .
- County-level DfT data for 2016/17 will be published in Autumn 2017.
- Data for all authorities are available on the DfT website
- More information on rural transport in Somerset is available on our Rural Transport webpage.