Many passengers used buses instead after rail services across the country were halted on three days last week because of industrial action by the RMT

Transdev Blazefield reported a 52% increase in passengers on its Cityzap route on June 23

The impact of strike action by 40,000 RMT members at Network Rail and 13 train operating companies over three days last week appears to have boosted bus use.

Transdev Blazefield reported a 52% increase in passengers on its flagship Cityzap route between York and Leeds on the second rail strike day (June 23). This followed a 40.5% increase on the first day of the dispute.

The operator’s other Yorkshire routes providing an alternative to trains also reported significantly increased numbers. Its ‘Aireline’ buses between Keighley and Leeds saw a 44% patronage increase on the second strike day and its Route 36, which links Harrogate and Leeds a 30% rise.

“As well as fulfilling our full timetable, extra buses were operated on a number of routes across Yorkshire so customers could experience our services in comfort,” said Transdev Blazefield chief executive Alex Hornby. “It is heartening to see people choosing the bus, rather than feeling obliged to stay at home or resort to the car.”

It is heartening to see people choosing the bus

Stagecoach also reported a spike in bookings at its Megabus and Scottish Citylink operations ahead of the strike. At Megabus, seat sales were 85% higher than the week before the strikes.

Social media also suggested there was enthusiasm for bus use from rail users. “I’ve been using the Stagecoach Gold buses on the X17 from Sheffield to Meadowhall this week during the strike and I can safely say it arrived on time and had seats that made a fair few rail companies First Class look like beds of nails,” said one commuter. “Maybe I won’t use rail again.”

The full story appears in the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

DON’T MISS OUT – GET YOUR COPY! – click here to subscribe!