Thousands more people could find work if bus journeys were improved, according to a new report.
A study for Greener Journeys, which promotes sustainable travel, found that four out of five jobseekers were heavily dependent on buses as they did not have access to a private vehicle.
Five billion bus journeys are made every year – three times as many as by rail – but services are under pressure because of spending cuts by councils, said the report.
Claire Haigh, chief executive of Greener Journeys, said: “The role of transport in bringing about economic and social prosperity is often significantly underestimated.
“This report is a key breakthrough in demonstrating just how important the bus is in creating and underpinning jobs and growth. We hope decision-makers take notice of original ideas such as our proposal for a bus bonus scheme – which would help commuters with bus commuting costs – as well as how they can improve reliability and resilience of local transport networks, to harness the full potential of the bus clearly outlined in this report.”
Welcoming the report, Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said: “Buses are the workhorse of the public transport sector.”