Number of buses in Northumberland hits record low according to licensing data

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A record low number of buses and coaches are using Northumberland roads, new figures show.

Department for Transport data revealed 559 buses and coaches were licensed in Northumberland at the end of 2023.

This was down from 592 the year before and represented a fall of 20% since 2014, slumping to the lowest figure of any year over the last 10 years.

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Some 141,300 buses and coaches were registered across the UK at the end of last year, a 16% decline from nine years prior.

141,300 buses and coaches were registered across the UK at the end of last year. (Photo by PA Radar)141,300 buses and coaches were registered across the UK at the end of last year. (Photo by PA Radar)
141,300 buses and coaches were registered across the UK at the end of last year. (Photo by PA Radar)

Rod Dennis, spokesperson for the RAC, said the fall is "disappointing at a time when so much public money is being spent on trying to make bus travel more attractive."

He added: "It is little wonder then that so many people are as dependent on their cars as they are."

Silviya Barrett, director of policy and campaigns at the Campaign for Better Transport, said: "Schemes such as the £2 bus fare cap have helped to boost bus passenger numbers, but they are no substitute for long-term funding and these figures show we still have a way to go to halt the vicious cycle of bus cuts.

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"The government must do more to support all local authorities so they can work with bus operators to run quality services and expand provision for the millions of people who rely on buses every day."

The Bus Users campaign group said losing bus services leaves people "without vital access to education, healthcare, employment, friends and family".

Chief executive Claire Walter said: "Funding for bus services is an investment that boosts local economies, reduces congestion and pollution, and improves health and well-being.”

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