Bus passengers in the West Midlands feel more unsafe than in any other region, a recent report reveals.
It is the second year in a row that the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive (WMPTE) region has come out with the highest number of passengers feeling unsafe.
More than one in six respondents (17 per cent) to the Bus Passenger Survey 2013 said that the behaviour of other passengers had given them cause to worry or make them feel uncomfortable.
The independent watchdog, Passenger Focus carried out the survey for autumn 2012 in 22 regions in the country outside London. Data was collected between 23 September and 12 December, 2012 (excluding the half term holiday period).
However, with the fatal stabbing of a teenager on a bus in Birmingham earlier on 7 March, this perception of safety is likely to be even lower now.
At the second spot is the Greater Manchester region with the figure at 13 per cent.
The overall satisfaction of passengers with their journey has also fallen from 81 per cent last year to 79 per cent this year in the WMPTE region.
The number of female passengers experiencing anti-social behavior has gone up from 15 to 16 per cent. Figures about perception of security inside the buses are the same in the last two years.
Anthony Smith, Passenger Focus chief executive, has said in a press statement:
“Each year some 2.3 billion bus journeys are made in England outside of London. Passengers are not satisfied with around 375 million journeys. We hope this report will be a call to action for transport authorities and bus companies to better work together to improve things for passengers.”
Low level nuisance behaviour such as playing loud music, feet on seats, boisterous antics, smoking are some of the frequent complains, said a spokesperson from public transport authority Centro.
Phil Tonks, an independent transport consultant said:
“There is obviously work to be done on improving perceptions of local bus services. The Safer Travel Team also continues to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour on our buses. However, it is clear that other aspects of the journey experience need improvement.”
UPDATE: This post from Brum Transport was later published in the Birmingham Mail’s datablog Behind the Numbers.