PEOPLE in Poole are travelling by bus in ever increasing numbers.

Poole buses carried more than 9.8million passengers in the 12 months from April 2013 to March 2014, an annual increase of 263,273.

Figures from Borough of Poole show that the number of passenger journeys in Poole has risen by 85 per cent since 2004/05.

The council says bus services have become the popular choice of transport following investment by the bus operators in modern low-floor buses, improved timetables making bus use more convenient and the use of smart card ticketing has removed the need to carry change.

Poole council has played its part by improving bus shelters, providing raised kerbs at bus stops to improve accessibility for passengers and supporting the provision of bus information through real time information at stops, via mobile phones and the internet.

Just under a third of the journeys were by pensioners using English National Concessionary Travel bus passes, which give free off peak travel anywhere in England.

Cllr Ian Potter, cabinet portfolio holder for transportation, Borough of Poole, said: “We work in partnership with bus operators and neighbouring authorities to make bus travel easier and convenient for more people.

“The significant investment made by the bus operators and council in recent years has provided real benefit to bus passengers and buses are becoming an increasingly attractive form of transport in the area,” he said.

Bus operators figures supplied to Borough of Poole show that 9,819,782 passengers boarded buses in the town between April 1, 2013, and March 31, 2014, compared with 9,556,509 the previous year. In 2004/05 a total of 5,331,268 passengers travelled.