We know that policy is not about economic value alone. Because life isn’t just about the pound in your pocket, or savings to the Exchequer. And policy should not just be made on economic arguments alone, however strong they may be.
Policy must deliver on a range of social factors as well. Does it reduce inequality, and support deprived communities? Does it impact positively on healthcare, education and access to a range of public services? Does it improve people’s life chances? For the first time, we now truly understand the social impacts of the bus, thanks to a new research from KPMG LLP and the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds. And this provides very clear evidence of a very strong social case for the bus.
Which means that a policy supporting bus investment is not just a transport policy. It is a health policy, an education policy, a skills policy, an economic policy, a wellbeing policy, and a social cohesion policy.
As the new Government looks to improve the life chances of everyone, and create a truly inclusive economy and society, this timely research demonstrates the significant social value of the bus. We hope it is a useful contribution to the policy debate.