Why are statistics no longer collected for coach travel?

Wouldn’t it be useful to see what has happened to receipts from coach travel over the past few years. Unfortunately we can’t because the statistics are no longer collected.

This table is from the most recent set of data that I could find (in .xls format). but notice that there is no data for the last two entries for receipts in the ‘Other (non-local) services’ row (by which they mean coach). The associated note reads “Passenger receipts for non-local services are no longer collected”.

Why are they no longer collected? Is it because there is not enough official interest in coaches to make it worth collecting the data any more?

6.11 Bus and coach services: passenger receipts (Including concessionary fare reimbursement): 1998/99-2008/09

However… lets see what has been happening to coach receipts in the 9 year period for which receipts are available. Personally I am interested in the 36% growth in the period 1996-2001. Is the subsequent dip to do with the recession of the early 2000s or a long term trend. My senses tell me that it was a dip and that it has been going up since then. Megabus started in the UK in 2003 and Greyhound in 2009. National express announced a 2% growth in passenger numbers in 2008 so they don’t appear to be loosing out.

Coach receipts 1996-2004

Personally I think that a transport sector worth nearly £1.7billion per year, which operated 1.5 billion km vehicle miles in 2007/2008 and which pays its way, pays taxes and has grown by 24% in 6 years is worth keeping tabs on!

Read more about the recent growth in coach travel in the Wikipedia article ‘Coach transport in the United Kingdom‘ (which is well referenced and pretty accurate).

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About PeterEastern
Amongst other things I am interested in the overlap between information technology and personal travel and how we can remain mobile whilst also greatly reducing the negative effects of our travel.

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