Bus passengers in Cumbria have given a big thumbs up to services in the county, new figures have revealed.
A survey carried out by Passenger Focus, the independent passenger watchdog, has discovered that 88 per cent of bus users polled in Cumbria are satisfied with their bus journeys.
This compares to 84 per cent of respondents in Greater Manchester and Stoke on Trent and 86 per cent in South Yorkshire saying they are satisfied.
Sixty three per cent of concessionary fare users and 40 per cent of passengers paying full fares in Cumbria gave the highest response to the survey of being "very satisfied" as well as 44 per cent of full fare passengers saying they are "fairly satisfied".
Only one per cent of full fare paying passengers are "very dissatisfied" with journeys overall.
Cumbria County Council is working in partnership with Passenger Focus to identify key areas where bus services in Cumbria are strong and to help address areas for improvement to boost operations subject to funding availability.
The survey was conducted as part of an ongoing nationwide bus passenger satisfaction study and covered 14 areas across England including Manchester, South Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire as well as Cumbria.
In total more than 850 passengers participated in the survey in Cumbria and the 88 per cent overall satisfaction rate is linked to key attributes that passengers gave their approval to such as getting a seat (90 per cent approval), length of time the journey took (84 per cent) and punctuality (78 per cent).
Passengers also reported a high degree of satisfaction with several aspects related to the bus driversí performance, particularly appropriateness of the speed and the feeling of road safety.
The county council also learned that while only a quarter of passengers felt that value for money and the frequency of buses was not to their liking these are clearly two areas which it needs to focus on in the future to ensure more people take advantage of the public transport which is on their doorstep.
The county council is looking at a variety of solutions for improving bus services such as better marketing, sustainable transport and a greater use of smart ticketing making it easier for people to use buses in conjunction with other modes of public transport such as ferries and trains.
The key findings of the report will be discussed and acted on in conjunction with Stagecoach, the countyís largest bus service provider.
Cllr Tim Knowles, Cumbria County Councilís cabinet member for passenger transport, said: "The findings of this report confirm that the vast majority of bus users in Cumbria are satisfied with the overall service on offer, which is great news as of course we want to be as passenger and user orientated as possible.
"I hope these results will not only show people that we have good bus services for our communities but that they will also encourage others to take the bus if they can rather than jumping in the car.
"As well as confirming the many areas where we have performed strongly, the report has identified a couple of areas where we are looking for improvement so we are committed to working towards improving these areas alongside our partners."
Media enquiries to media officer John Ballard on 01228 226330.