ForwardMotion asks south Essex to get on board for ‘Catch the Bus Week’

Published Monday, 1st July 2019

Forward Motion logo

From the 1st to the 7th of July, ForwardMotion is encouraging people across south Essex to swap one car journey for a ride on a public bus, as part of Catch the Bus Week 2019.

Catch the Bus Week aims to get more people using the many bus routes running across the country, regardless of their travel needs. As highlighted in a number of industry reports, more people using the bus can have huge knock-on effects for society – from reducing congestion and helping people get to job interviews, to cutting national carbon dioxide emissions by 2 million tonnes each year.

ForwardMotion, which provides advice, information and ideas to get more people to bike, walk or use public transport, is encouraging people to get on the bus during the week. Less than a quarter of people across Essex regularly travel by bus.

A ForwardMotion spokesperson comments: “Over the past couple of years, we’ve been working with a number of bus operators to encourage more people to use bus services across south Essex. ForwardMotion has provided a range of services to promote the use of buses, such as personal travel plans to show people the best route for them to take and free bus passes for those who need them, such as school pupils and older passengers.

“We know that the benefits of using more public transport go beyond our own individual journeys. More people catching the bus means fewer cars on the road, which will help to improve the quality of the air we all breathe in south Essex. And there are some less well-known benefits too, with a recent study showing that public transport encourages us to talk, helping to combat feelings of loneliness and anxiety.

“However, for many of us, getting in the car just seems like the best way to get from A to B, even if that means sitting in traffic for long periods of time and even if there is a direct bus route on your doorstep. Through supporting Catch the Bus Week, we’re aiming to show the people of south Essex all the benefits public transport can bring and to change attitudes around the ease of just jumping in the car.”

Sheena Karim, First Essex Marketing Manager, comments: “Whether you catch the bus every day, or are hopping on board for the first time, we know that the bus should be easy to use for everyone. Putting this idea into action, we’ve collaborated with the ForwardMotion team to create the Octopus bus ticket, which allows users to hop on and off the bus without paying any extra fares.

“During Catch the Bus Week, we hope that more people in south Essex will consider getting out of their cars and onto the bus, reducing the air pollution and traffic across the county.”

For more advice on the bus routes available across south Essex, people are encouraged to use ForwardMotion’s personal travel plan, which can be found on their website.

First Essex are hosting a special event in Southend High Street on the 2nd July, while on the 11th July, Arriva are celebrating 100 years of the number one bus service. And if you want to try something different during the week, a new Open Top Bus service, provided by Go Ahead-London, will run from the 22nd June, giving people the chance to see the sights of Southend-on-Sea and Leigh-on-Sea. ForwardMotion also works with bus provider Ensign to help get people out of their cars and onto the bus.

About ForwardMotion

ForwardMotion is an initiative to encourage people to think differently about the way they travel around south Essex. The goal is to reduce reliance on cars and get people to consider alternative travel options such as cycling, catching public transport or walking.

ForwardMotion is delivered by South Essex Active Travel, a collaboration between Essex, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock Councils. The initiative is funded by the Department for Transport.