September bus figures the best since records began

THE number of people travelling by bus in September was the highest since monthly records began.


A total of 171,282 people used the service last month – a 10.5% increase over the previous September.

Environment & Infrastructure president Barry Brehaut said he was pleased to see the numbers hitting such levels. Even though it was recently revealed that taxpayers gave CT Plus the equivalent of £2.23 per passenger in subsidy, it was still a good day for the service, he added.

‘I know that people will say that it is OAPs and students who use the bus service and people will say about the subsidy. Is it not great that we have a regular bus service?’

Use was weather-dependent, Deputy Brehaut added, and said it was hoped that money from the transport strategy would be used to build more bus shelters.

In the first nine months of this year, an extra 111,254 passengers have used the bus service compared with the same period in 2015, and in total the year-to-date growth is around 9.44%.

Comments for: "September bus figures the best since records began"


...or got it be the cruise ship passengers eh!

But hey...don't worry's not your money being wasted!


Almost £400000 subsidy in one month? Surely that can't be right? Yes give yourself a big pat on the back Barry Brehaut you should be really proud of yourself!!


Yes, that does sound right. Burford the witch committed us to giving CT+ about £30 Million over 5 or 6 years. I expect its all coming out of Gavin's £330 Million so its not real money - not until our descendants have to pay it back, anyhow.


Where do you get the £400,000 from ?

The subsidy given is ( based on last years figures ) about £4.3million a year - so roughly £360,000 a month. This is offset by any fare revenue - given the number of passengers carried this could easily be in the region of £60,000. So the net cost to the taxpayer is probably nearer £300,000. And it is important to note that as more passengers travel the subsidy per passenger goes down .....


Toby, I reckon the net cost to the tax payer this year should be in the region of 250k per month due to an assumed increase in fare-paying passengers and, presumably, an annual increase in marketing revenue.


Paul ... your maths are well out... back to school mate !


Possibly he's multiplied 171k passengers by £2.23 ..... But that only gets you to £380k .....


There you go! Didn't realise we had to go to the nearest decimal point. £381,000 is near enough to £400k to simplify. As for Creepy Alvin from Switzerland once again your opinion has NO relevance as you pay no taxes here, don't vote here and make no valid contribution to the island. hopefully others on here will treat your comments with the contempt they deserve. Why not get involved in your local issues?


Well, probably I use the buses on Guernsey more than you so I guess I know more about the subject than you.


The point is Paul the subsidy isn't given per passenger - it is a fixed amount.

And you may not consider £19k a small difference but I'm sure many taxpayers would disagree !


Over 20,000 cruise passengers were due in September, I wonder how many of them took their heavily subsidised £1 bargain rides?

Or, to put it another way, how many £ tens of thousands slipped through Environment's useless fingers again last month? Don't worry yourselves, the rest of us will all work a bit harder and pay more tax to cover your losses.


So the more people that use the bus service the more it cost us in paying a subsidy.... are we stark raving mad?? surly the subsidy should go down the more paying customers there are.


The subsidy is fixed. This is offset by fare revenue. So the subsidy per passenger goes down the passengers there are, and down even more if they pay a fare.

The £2.23 figure for 2015 is arrived at by taking the subsidy paid, less fares, and dividing it by the number of passengers carried. K


Does this mean we pay less than the 4.3 million subsidy to CTplus?


That figure is offset by fare revenue ( £900k last year ). If fare paying passenger numbers are up that will reduce the net subsidy further.


Bit of a misleading headline really - 'September bus figures the best since monthly records began', we are told, but not the actual date they did begin.

Was it 2014 or 2015?

Nice try Baz.


Detailed passenger records have been collected since the 90's when the Almex ticketing system was introduced .....


I think in the printed article it mentions the past twenty years.


I think you will find that although more people used the buses last month,the paying customers are not really up in numbers.

It's purely spin.The SOG have to protect their own.I see there was a bit of negative about the new buses on order so they had to get some spin out today to take your minds off it.


Charge the round the island route @ £5 per person, the cruise passengers would still pay as that's a bargain, and we might then be in a position to stop subsidising buses that, outside of peak times, travel round this island empty!


Charge £2 to get on bus,more for each zone and visitors either buy a card or have to pay higher cost and local can use their heath card.

We have to except the subsidy to get more people on the bus, although Environment has massaged and lied about numbers has not worked.

Although we need a bus service, we can not keep throwing hard earned taxpayers cash at a dead duck but simply pluck it a little.


I would use the bus to get home from work but the wife has tea on the table dead on 6 pm but the bus doesn't get to my stop until 6.10 pm.

Island Wide Voting

6.30pm if Sam is lugging a lawnmower in his bike trailer at the head of the procession :-(


All this talk of "£2.33 subsidy" is complete propaganda B.S.

Let's call a spade a spade, these damn buses cost us about £5 Million per year and bring in pathetic fares of less than £1 Million! And that is without the massive cost of the buses themselves, financing them and depreciation.

That is not any kind of business. Yet these fools at Environment count it as a major achievement if a few more people travel on them - usually for free or, at most, £1! This is total lunacy, Guernsey is bleeding to death while we pay these clowns a fortune to ruin us.

Donkey Boiler


I agree completely. We have only our fellow electors to blame. It is, of course, everyone's right to vote for whoever they wish, but who the hell in their right minds voted for Brehaut, Fool Gollop, rich boy StPier, et al? Many of the newbies are also showing their true colours now that they have torn up their worthless, phoney manifestoes.


Could you explain where I'm going wrong in my maths Beanjar ?

Annual subsidy is £4.3million. Fare income is £900K. Net cost therefore of £3.4 million. Which isn't £5 million.

Even if you factor in the cost of purchasing the fleet ( £4million 13 years ago ) you still only get to £3.7 or £3.8 million. And depreceation is an accounting trick, it doesn't cost anything, it just reduces the assumed value of the assets

Yes its a lot of money but what is your alternative suggestion to accomodating the 171,000 passenger journeys a year ? Removing the subsidy would result in an increase in fares and a reduction in service which would leave many ( but by no means all ) who have no other means of transport with a service that they possibly can't afford and which doesn't go anywhere near where they need it to.


Toby, that's because, as a massive fan of virtually free buses, you wrongly stated that I used the word 'net' when I clearly didn't. I take it that was for propaganda purposes?

What I correctly said was "... buses cost us about £5 Million per year and bring in pathetic fares of less than £1 Million!"

According to your own figures I was quite correct, in fact you make the figure £5.2 Million, less the 0.9 Million fares making the subsidy £4.3 Million. A truly disgraceful loss on a partial service which serves relatively few people adequately.


I have never advocated a totally free bus service. In fact I have stated that in my opinion we shouldn't be subsidising the operator at all, but instead those passengers that need it ....

Can we go through the maths again ?

The contracted subsidy paid to CT Plus to operate the service in 2015 was £4.3 million. The fare income received by e States was £900k.

The net cost incurred by the States was therefore £4,300,000 minus £900,000 .... £3,400,000. I'll say that again, the cost to the taxpayer in 2015 was £3.4 million not the £5million you stated.

The only way you can get to £5.2 million using my "own figures" is by adding them together......


Jesus wept .... may I suggest you look up the definition of 'subsidy'? And while you're at it, look up - 'virtually', it is nothing remotely similar to 'totally'.


Depreciation is an accounting trick!....really...

it's a way of spreading the cost of an asset over it's useful life and is a direct cost of doing business. You either do that or incur the full cost in the year you buy the asset or perhaps you believe the cost is a bus is irrelevant because the tax payer pays!

Which do you think is the better way to account for the cost of running a bus service!?

The alternative is in fact to provide a bus service on routes and times that match the greatest demand and at a price that is reasonable for the service provided based the costs of doing so.

There is absolutely no point in saturating the island with buses all day in the hope that you pick up one or two passengers along the way. Unless of course you're not running as a commerical business and are subsidised to run empty businesses as part of a "pie in the sky" transport strategy.

It maybe an essential service for any civilised community but when it consumes as much money as this island's bus service has consumed over the years something is clearly not right. Putting some politcial spin on high level passengers numbers will not change the facts.


Yes, I picked that up, along with Toby's other Burfordesque propaganda. Its as if Toby thinks it is normal to run a bus company without having any buses!

That would be a brilliant business plan, why not flash it past Lord Sugar? I'm sure Sugs will love it when he gets to the bottom line - "HOW *$&!@!ING MUCH!!!! YOU'RE FIRED!"


If you read my first reply to Beanjar above you will see that I made an adjusted calculation of the subsidy by including the cost of buying the existing fleet ( £4m ) over their lifetime so far ( which by my maths comes to an extra £300K or £400K ). My point is that having paid for the fleet in full up front there is no additional cash cost incurred in subsequent years.

If each bus were purchased for £100k and depreciated over ten years we wouldn't have to find £10k cash every year to pay for the depreciation ....


Toby, Toby, you are showing yourself up now. You clearly have no idea how companies are run yet you use phrases such as "depreceation is an accounting trick". Ask a grown up, or one of those bright kids who start up their own companies. See if anybody gifted them with the tools of their trade and replaced them free of charge, without even hitting them with leasing charges, finance costs or depreciation. And ask how long they would expect to stay in business making £4.3 Million a year LOSS.

Donkey Boiler


I agree completely. Toby, it seems, is so infatuated with the bus service that you'll never be able to reason with him. The fact is that people are so distributed all over our island, with our totally inadequate roads, that it is impossible to run a service that services all of the island and all of the various journey requirements of everyone. Hence we have empty buses running around at great expense most of the time just to make Barry feel good about himself, and oh so important.


It's not about reasoning with me, it's the facts.

The fact is that in direct subsidy the bus service cost roughly £3.4 million in 2015. If you factor in the cost of the fleet this rises to roughly £3.8 million.

When people just make up numbers like Beanjar's £5million I think somebody should correct it, and if it's me so be it.

Or should people just be allowed to spout whatever nonesense they feel like and mislead others ?

Do I think over £3million in subsidy is a lot of money ? Yes, I do.

Do I think we should as an island be spending so much money subsidising the bus operator ? No I don't.

Do I think the island should be buying its own fleet of buses ? No I don't.

Do I think people should only pay £1 for a bus journey ? No I don't, if the actual cost is £2 or £3 or £4 per journey then charge that. If there are people who need to use the service and need help paying those sorts of fares then give them the money, not the operator.

If the island is committed to providing transport for students then there is going to be a cost, but wrapping that up in the bus subsidy confuses both issues.

Maintaining a bus service accessible for all is always going to cost money, the important question is why, how much and whom we give it to

Hurling mistruths and insults around does nothing to further the debate.


Nobody is 'hurling mistruths' - well not me anyway. Environment are deliberately putting out these odd statistics to hide the extent of the losses and put a positive spin on what is a truly disgustingly run bus service.

It depends whether CT+ hands over the £0.9m to the States or whether they keep it. You say the subsidy is £4.3m but assume this is offset by handing over the fares. Why would they? As far as I am aware, the turnover is £5.2m, the income is £0.9m and the loss (which is why they need the subsidy) is therefore £4.3m.

That is my understanding, if it is wrong blame clownpants Barry for deliberately trying to dress up his appalling waste and negligence.


Beanjar Beanjar Beanjar … let’s take this slowly …

Regarding our disagreement over the subsidy calculation, you say “That is my understanding, if it is wrong blame clownpants Barry for deliberately trying to dress up his appalling waste and negligence.”

May I remind you of this article ( which I assume you read because you commented on it )

In particular this “….in 2015 CT Plus was paid nearly £4.3m. The States, however, took £935,000 in bus fares to bring the annual subsidy down to £3,359,000.”

Which is taken from this statement from Environment

Now if you can’t understand that perfectly clear and simple statement then I fail to see why it is in any way Barry’s fault.

“You clearly have no idea how companies are run yet you use phrases such as "depreceation is an accounting trick". Ask a grown up, or one of those bright kids who start up their own companies. See if anybody gifted them with the tools of their trade and replaced them free of charge, without even hitting them with leasing charges, finance costs or depreciation. And ask how long they would expect to stay in business making £4.3 Million a year LOSS.”

I called it a “trick” because it is a paper cost not a real one. You are the one who doesn’t seem to understand it. As is stated here

“Depreciation is often a difficult concept for accounting students as it does not represent real cash flow. Depreciation is an accounting convention that allows a company to write-off the value of an asset over time, but it is considered a non-cash transaction.” So there is no actual cost to depreceation, and it doesn’t affect the cost of the subsidy.

I can’t comment on the current contract with CT Plus, but when ICW were running the service they did in fact pay a lease charge for the use of the bus fleet.

There are no finance costs to meet for the current fleet because the money to buy it was given, not loaned, from general revenue to the then traffic committee.

The bus service loses £3.4 million a year , not £4.3 million – you have forgotten to include the fare revenue of £900K. I wouldn’t expect a company running the services CT Plus does, charging the fares it does ( both dictated by Environment ) to last long with that sort of annual loss . WHICH IS PRECISELY WHY IT IS SUBSIDISED.

As for the buses buses being “gifted” – I have already shown a calculation adding a cost of £300-400K a year to the subsidy ( the cost of the £4million paid for them averaged over their lifetime so far )

I am very well aware of the difference between “virtually” and “totally” in this context – very little. But the point that seems to have been lost on you is that I agree with you on the fares ! You are right ! They are too low and should be higher to nearer reflect the actual cost of running the service. And I’m going to agree with you again – I too think there is an appalling and unnecessary waste involved in providing the current service…….


Just a question Beanjar...

What is your opinion on the provision of a free bus service to OAPs and for the school kids ??


There is so much wrong with the current service it is difficult to isolate any one policy. Firstly, they need to get rid of all the useless empty buses which trundle about. Whenever I see a bus out of Town I always check to see how many passengers are aboard, usually there are virtually none. Last night was typical, saw a 41 (I think) at Cobo, 9pm. Not one single passenger. Total madness!

Having cut out some of the massive wasted costs, a basic one-off fare of £3 ought to reduce the subsidy to something far more affordable. Use pre-purchase cards with a minimum credit of, say, £20 to reduce that by 25%. So, £2.25 per non-concession journey.

Without means-testing everybody to see who actually needs free fares, I would have thought half fares for under 18's and OAP's would be reasonable. That would leave them paying just over £1 a journey. But it would not preclude people from getting free passes via Social Services if they can demonstrate genuine need.

These measures would not dramatically damage the existing service or heavily penalise users but would significantly redress the huge subsidy which is paid largely by non-users. Many people living out of town receive virtually no worthwhile, reliable, service yet they bear virtually the full cost of other peoples' journeys. That cannot be right.


Beanjar .... You may want to sit down before reading this ...

I think your suggestion regarding fares is entirely logical and sensible.


Thanks Toby, and sorry I got it wrong about the fares. Even so, the subsidy is mahooosive enough!


Beanjar... you are not really a present or past deputy are you ? With such a long-winded politician's type of answer it sounds as if you are.

So, you reckon OAPs should be paying £1.50. And when you say under 18s, do you mean school-kids going to school in uniform on the regular buses as well as the designated school-buses ??


Alvin, you are a cheeky git. You ask a loaded question to which there is no one-word answer. Under the circumstances, I consider my reply quite concise. But if you're not happy with it, you can leave this to Guernsey residents to sort out. Get back to mending your cuckoo clocks and scarfing down Toblerone.

Why would a local OAP not buy a prepaid card? If they are that daft, they deserve to pay £1.50 rather than £1.125. Regarding children, it is not unusual to give them half fares. I don't know what the arrangement is regarding school buses. I don't see why they shouldn't be paying £1.125 though - it costs much more to provide the service. And if either group are 'too poor' to pay they could take up their case with Social services.





The last time bus fares were substantially increased there was an immediate and dramatic fall in passenger numbers. Do we seriously want to decrease bus use and have a corresponding increase in car use?? How backward would that be! If bus fares are increased it would need to be matched by the introduction of paid parking.... (shock/horror!).... otherwise you are simply increasing the incentive to drive.

As usual, there are several posters harping on about cruise passengers not contributing enough for the journeys they make and they certainly aren't. A solution to that tho' was in the Transport Strategy and out of all the suggestions, was the best of all, although I think it needed a bit of fine tuning. If you had to buy a card up-front to use the bus, you could use the bus as many times as you liked for the duration of that cards life so in effect, travelling on the bus would be free-at-the-point-of-use and the more you use it, the better value you get. The minimum price could be say £8...... for (again off the top of my head) for a fortnights pass. Cruise passengers would all have to pay £8 which still offers a reasonable price for a round island trip or they might choose to hire a whole (private) coach.... either way, everyone wins. Local people would be incentivised to get the most value out of a bought card so it would encourage them to use the bus service and surely that is what we want. A card bought for a long period of time, i.e. a year, would want to be kept very inexpensive so that it is not pushed out of the reach of those on lower incomes.


You don't live in the real world at all, do you Rosie? If a bus journey is not worth £2.25, it is not worth making. Bus numbers might reduce if people had to start paying something remotely like their journeys' true cost. But do you really think that is because everybody will rush out and buy a car, fill up with petrol that now costs more than the UK's, navigate roads blocked by your beloved empty buses, then endure the aggravation of parking?

Maybe people might start walking short distances to save themselves £2.25. Or, for the price of a tank of petrol, buy themselves a bike. Which is exactly what you have been whanging on about for the last 10 years. Were you frightened by a cars as a little girl, or something? Just why is it that you are so desperate to punish car owners at every opportunity? Oh, and putting up the bus price from £1 to £8 for cruise passengers? That will go down very well on TripAdvisor, won't it?


Beanjar. It's not about what a bus journey is worth. Its about what would be best for the whole island and that means encouraging more people to use the service instead of using their car (when possible). If the option is between forking out £5.50 to go to town or £0.00 to drive the car that's sitting on your driveway and park for free, its pretty obvious which choice most people are going to make however convenient you make the bus service. When everyone is encouraged to make the choice to drive, you are creating expensive dis-benefits for the whole community. It might be fine if there were only a few of us but the island is too crowded for that way of thinking.

If you want to base your argument on what something is worth, then lets have a debate about what the worth is of being able to park in the middle of town.


So where did that £5.50 come from, Rosie? I was proposing £2.25, for which you could sit on one of your damn buses for an hour as it trundles its way round the island impeding people who have got places to be. Seems pretty good value to me, half that if you're young or old, free if you're poor.

But no, you demand completely free buses and to rubbish up Town with parking meters, more wardens and all the attendant signage and other junk. Why stop at wifi, you could bribe people with a quid or two or give them a mars bar as they climb aboard. Its only other peoples' money!

It seems to me you are an elitist snob. Just chanting the word 'community' all the time doesn't change that fact. You just want to keep the plebs off the roads so you can come and go in your car or on your little push bike according to whim. Meanwhile, you demand that taxpayers keep coughing up more and more for a bus service which will never be fit for purpose on a largely rural island.

You've already got about £5 Million a year's worth of buses, how many people have got rid of their cars? More importantly, have you got rid of yours? No, and you never will. Isn't life grand when you're so smug, superior and well off?


Oh crikey Beanjar…..its impossible to have any sort of conversation with you because you are completely uninterested in trying to understand anyone else's argument, and to divert attention you resort to aggression and name calling. Why not just stick to the argument. As usual, you’ve completely misinterpreted what I said…. for starters, I have not “demanded completely free buses” as you suggest….. I was quite clear in suggesting the need to buy a bus card up front….. at a price that could / would be more than the £1 current fare and therefore the cruise passengers would pay a more realistic price for the trips they have and you could stop moaning about them. Another benefit of paying for a card up front is the incentive it would give locals and holidaymakers to use the service to get as much value as possible out of the card. And at the point of choosing whether to catch the bus, it would be an option that would ‘feel’ free, because as with cars, the cost is already history. We could have 3 or 4 different value cards for different lengths of time.

Most journeys on the bus for local people are going to be a return journey, therefore your price of £3 or £2.25 would be double… £6 or £4.50 (rather than £5.50). Weighed up against taking the car and parking for free, its easy to see where the incentives would lie.


Why stop at doubling the fare I suggested and adding 50p, why not assume you are taking your whole extended family on a jolly bus ride? That way it will be easier to ridicule me.

Election Issues

"If the option is between forking out 5.50 to go to town or 0.00 to drive the car sitting on your driveway and park for free"



Beanjar... maybe I am a cheeky git - but, reading your comments to Rosie, I guess you are too ! :-)

Anyway, if you charge too high a fare, paying passenger numbers would drop. The poor people are already paying for their bus services so do not need to be free.

The solution is to charge 2 quid per standard fare, with the Puffin pass available to all and offering fare reductions of up to 50 % discount, with a further 50 % discount, ( i.e. 50 p ) for all OAP and School Bus trips.

Then charge cruise liner visitors ten quid per person and which would include free bus travel for the day, and impose a tourist tax of 5 quid per bed night which also would include free bus travel per day.

If 4 quid of each of the tourist bed tax and cruise liner landing fees were given to the bus service, that would bring in almost 3.5 million, with more than 1 million coming in from the normal fare passengers, OAPs and school kids.

Then reduce some of the less frequented routes so the annual subsidy can be reduced down to four million a year and you will have 0.5 million quid a year to go towards bus replacements and that.

Island Wide Voting

In Jersey it costs 76p per unit to park in the middle of Town (a unit could be half hour,one hour etc)

A cheaper option for the St Helier workers .. i.e. the people who keep the Town open for business for those who don't have to work ... is a season ticket priced at £123.31 per month

This applies to on street parking or in one of several multi storey car parks but does not apply to Company Managers and Directors with their own on-site private parking places

Does anyone know of any TIG posters with such family Directorships?


A season parking ticket is the most stupid of stupid ideas!



Why should visitors to Guernsey with their own cars, bics, campsite or staying paying for your cheap subsidised fare. Get into the real world and user pays.

All you want is to continue the stupidity with money that should go into other more important things. Health, education, roads, sea walls etc.

If you want the buses going around empty pay for them yourself not leach off hard working people.


Dave... the fact of the matter is that if bus fares go up too much there are much less passengers and so revenues go down - meaning fares have to go up even further which in turn causes even less passengers. Its a vicious circle. Its also a proven fact as shown in the statistics produced by Environment a few years ago.

A bus service is an essential service to any community and, if need be, has to be subsidized by society. So why not get tourists to contribute more towards it - there is no VAT on Guernsey, unlike Jersey and the UK, even though Guernsey hotel prices are higher than Jersey. Tourists would not object to paying a little more but getting a "free" bus service as has been proven in places such as Geneva.

Of course, hire car companies and taxi companies will not like this proposal, now will they. But let's face reality, the lower paid resident of Guernsey can not afford to pay 6 quid a day for a return bus fare to their place of work let alone run a car or get a taxi. And even those who can afford taxi fares find it almost impossible to get a taxi at 8 - 8.30 am or 3 or 4 pm during school times because the taxis are all out on school runs... believe me, it is a problem I have faced many a time.


Agree Beanjar.

Can not keep putting in 4.3 million into a lost cause it has to be reduced by a realistic fare charge.

Sending empty buses around for £1 is not affordable when sea walls, roads, heath,education and cut backs in most things, with the extra taxes to to try offset this.

The social engineering with the Corbyinite type deputies have got to stop this self rightest attitude and realize, there are people struggling out there.

They are paying a heavy price for the selfish minority who only have their blinked view of how things should be, having no thought for their fellow islanders views.


When Environment awarded CT Plus the initial two-year contract w.e.f. 1 April 2012, C Plus or, rather, its owner HCT Group, were also tendering for a 7-year contract in Jersey. They were awarded that contract after Guernsey "was in the bag". Was Guernsey merely a spring board for the more lucrative Jersey contract? Was Environment aware of it and conceded or were they oblivious of the English company's ulterior motive? In any case, the present bus service is far too ambitious, too many routes, too many buses running empty, too many free rides (school children allowing unlimited travel 7 days a week, why?). What could be a real winner, namely the around-the-island trips for visitors, particularly cruise ship passengers. are practically given away at £1 and I remember talking to some visitors a few years ago, when the around-the-island trips were sold at £4.50 for a day pass, them being really impressed with the attractive fare! Now that CT Plus is under a 5 year contract, with a massive tax-funded budget, they do whatever Environment wants, regardless of whether it is realistic, workable or, heaven forbid, profitable.