Two unrelated recent statistical bulletins published by the DfT show a decline in bus journeys and the numbers of driving tests and ADIs in 2017.
Driving tests down
The first statistical bulletin covers the number of driving and riding practical tests conducted in Great Britain in Q4 2017 (Oct to Dec).
In that period, while the number of theory tests (553,3510) was slightly up (+1.6%) compared with Q4 2016, there was a 6.9% decrease in the number of practical tests (461,055).
The number of Approved Driving Instructors (ADI) on the statutory register, and the number of approved Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) motorcycle instructors have both fallen steeply in the past five years.
At the end of December 2017 there were 39,259 ADIs – a decrease of 13.5% compared to December 2012 – while the number of CBT motorcycle instructors has fallen by 18.2% to 2,424 in the same period.
The stats also show large falls in the number of Large Goods Vehicle tests (-11.6%) and Passenger Carrying Vehicle tests (-22.5%) carried out in Q4 2017, compared to the same period in 2016.
Local bus journeys down
The second bulletin shows that the number of ‘local’ bus journeys in England during 2017 (4.38bn) fell by 1.8%. In London the decrease was 0.6%, while across the rest of England outside London the number of journeys decreased by 3%.
In the same period, bus use across Scotland decreased by 2.1% and in Wales by 4.1%.
Meanwhile, bus fares increased by 3% in England, 2% in Scotland and by 2.9% in Wales.