Cost of living boosts public transport

* Cost of fuel blamed for rail and bus rises * Road congestion is also a factor * Rail use rises by up to 6.7%...

Cost of living boosts public transport

The rising cost of living is encouraging people to travel by bus and train rather than fuel their cars, according to Go-Ahead, the rail and bus operator.

The transport group says that passenger growth in its bus and rail divisions has accelerated strongly since April, attributing the change to the tough economic climate.

Other reasons suggested for the shift include a growing awareness of the environment and stressful road congestion.

Go-Ahead Chief executive Keith Ludeman said: 'People tend to only look at the marginal cost of a journey, the petrol they have to put in their car. So they are keeping their cars, but being more selective about what they use them for.'

In the 12 months to June 28, Go-Ahead said that it had seen bus passenger number rise by 2.9%, with a rise of 4.9% in the last quarter.

Meanwhile, passenger numbers on its Southern and Southeastern rail franchises rose by 6.7% and 6.4% respectively over the past 12 months.