Passenger Transport Insight
A series of articles featuring analysis and comment on the passenger transport scene by our site editor Chris Cheek.
Chris first joined the public transport industry in 1972 and has been analysing and commenting on the developing industry since he became a consultant in 1987.
You can see the latest articles immediately below, or gain access to a full listing by subject at the foot of the page. Select the 'Archive' option from the top menu to see a selection of Chris's earlier articles, some dating back to 1991.
As part of our work on the recent Bus Industry Performance report, it is clear that the falls in unit labour costs which occurred in the immediate aftermath of the recession are over, and that costs are on the rise again. This is of vital importance to an industry where 59% of total operating costs are spent on labour.
New analysis of passenger statistics published by the ORR shows that the Caledonian Sleeper franchise achieved the highest passenger growth in the rail industry in 2016/17.
Profits in the UK bus industry fell in 2015/16, according to new analysis published by Passenger Transport Monitor. The 122-page report Bus Industry Performance 2017 presents the results of its annual analysis of bus company accounts. This year, 114 local bus companies have been analysed from around Great Britain, in the 26th year of the Bus Industry Monitor project.
Scotland leads the way downwards, as annual bus passenger total for Great Britain stays firmly below five billion.
Reviewing the latest figures, it is clear that patronage falls south of the Thames drove national total down - but there is still growth elsewhere, at similar compound growth rates. This might suggest that a combination of infrastructure disruption and industrial relations problems has been slowing growth, not any systemic shift in the market.
The rail freight industry suffered a further setback during 2015/16 as the collapse in the market for power station coal drove two of the major players into the red, according to our latest Rail Industry Monitor report. The closure of twelve more coal-fired power stations over the last five years has driven the movement of coal by train down from eight billion tonne kilometres in 2013/14 to just under 1½ billion last year.