Letter to The Times, 4 December 2013:
It is doubtful that better rural bus services would encourage greater take-up as most households have at least one car.
Sir, Mr Sexton’s plea for rural bus services (letter, Dec 3), citing Worcestershire’s withdrawals, is based on the false premise that there is pent-up demand for improved services. In this parish of a scant 270 households, 98 per cent have at least one car. Indeed there are more cars registered than residents over 18, the result of almost every 17-year-old acquiring a car as soon as legally possible.
The average load per bus is two, or 4 per cent of capacity, so creating more CO2 emissions per passenger than a car with one occupant. It is highly doubtful that better bus services would change matters. Until 2007 our parish council subsidised an evening on-demand taxi service which charged passengers less than the fuel cost alone for a car journey. It was withdrawn because of a lack of demand.