Guernsey bus passenger figures rise

Guernsey buses at the St Peter Port terminus
Image caption CT Plus took over running the island's public bus service in April 2012

A downward trend in Guernsey bus passenger figures has reversed for the first time in five years.

The number of journeys taken by passengers rose steadily from 2000, when a new service was introduced, until 2009 when it topped 1.6 million.

Figures have declined since then, with some people blaming a fare increase from 60p to £1 per journey in 2010.

Figures for the first half of this year show a rise of nearly 20,000 journeys compared with the same period in 2013.

The biggest rise comparing monthly figures was in June, which saw more journeys made than in the same month in 2013 or 2012.

However, during June 2013 the service had been disrupted by a strike and a shortage of a drivers.

A spokesman for bus operator CT Plus said: "We recognise [June's] figures are in comparison to a very difficult June last year, but by edging ahead of the 2012 figures, they do represent a genuinely positive step forward."

One possible reason behind the rise of bus use in June was the ending of a two-tier tariff, which saw locals pay £1 and visitors £2 per journey, meaning everyone is now charged £1 for a single journey.

The spokesman said reliability, which had featured in a lot of complaints from customers, had improved in the past 12 months.

"Over the last quarter, there have been no cancellations whatsoever and we've run more than 99.99% of all scheduled mileage - a result that any bus operator in the world would be proud of," he said.

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