Find out about the latest goings-on at CMAC


The Best and Worst UK Cities for Public Transport

Posted May 28, 2024

Corporate Coach Hire Shuttle1

As a cornerstone of ground transportation, trains, buses, and coaches play a pivotal role in shaping the UK economy, especially with almost half (46%) of Brits working in the office more frequently now than in December 2023 (according to Virgin Media O2 Business’ Movers Index).

However, some locations in the country are more connected than others.

CMAC has analysed travel data from across the UK to determine which cities are the best — and the worst — connected for business travel.

By taking a deep dive into National Public Transport Access Nodes (NPTAN) data, we’ve discovered which cities have the highest and lowest Bus and Coach Transport (BCT) stops — indicating how many bus stops, stations and any other means of hailing a bus or coach are available in each UK city, as well as taking a look into how well these cities are connected by rail.

The Best UK Cities for Public Transport

Highest number of bus and coach cities
  1. London

With nine of the ten busiest railway stations in the country and its complex Underground system, London is well known as a hub for commuters. It's, therefore, unsurprising to discover that the capital city has the nation's most connected bus and coach network.

With its unparalleled 17,190 BCT stops, London is a testament to what a comprehensive and efficient public transport system looks like. This impressive number not only signifies the city's vast network but also highlights its central role as a hub for both locals and visitors from around the globe.

According to the Trainline, there are 334 train stations and 270 Underground (Tube) stations within Greater London, making the capital one of the best-connected cities in the world. Unsurprisingly, London is also home to nine out of ten of the busiest railway stations in the UK.

The extensive coverage ensures every destination is within reach, facilitating easy access to the city's many business districts. Moreover, London's public transport system is renowned for its reliability and frequency, which are crucial for maintaining the flow of one of the world's most bustling metropolises. The city's commitment to enhancing public transport is evident in ongoing investments into cleaner, greener buses and the continuous expansion of services to meet growing demand.

  1. Birmingham

Birmingham secures the second spot with 5,262 BCT stops, along with three main train stations within the city centre, providing fast and frequent connections both locally and nationally, showcasing the city's sizeable investment in ground transportation and its pioneering approach to making travel accessible and user-friendly.

Birmingham's network serves as a lifeline for the city, connecting diverse communities and fostering economic growth by ensuring workers, students, and visitors can move around with ease.

The city's focus on sustainable and efficient transport solutions, such as introducing low-emission buses and real-time tracking technology, reflects a forward-thinking attitude towards urban mobility. Birmingham's transport system is a model of how cities can evolve their infrastructure to support expanding populations and shifting travel habits.

  1. Leeds

Leeds rounds off the top three, boasting 3,383 BCT stops, underscoring the city's dedication to providing a wide-ranging public transport network. This extensive coverage ensures that residents and visitors alike can enjoy seamless access to all corners of the city, including the bustling business hubs.

When it comes to rail transport, Leeds offers 15 train stations throughout the city, according to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). Leeds City Train Station is one of the busiest train stations outside of London (second only to Birmingham New Street), with almost 24 million entries and exists through the station between April 2022 to March 2023.

Leeds's public transport is not just about connecting places; it's about creating opportunities for people to engage with the city sustainably and meaningfully. The ongoing improvements and investments in bus and coach services, including more frequent and reliable routes, demonstrate Leeds's commitment to enhancing the quality of life for its citizens and reducing the environmental impact of urban transport.

The Worst UK Cities for Public Transport

Lowest number of bus and coach cities
  1. St. Davids

St. Davids, located in Wales, is renowned as Britain's smallest city, distinguished by its 14 BCT stops. While this may reflect the city's intimate scale, it also points to the potential for enhancing public transport connectivity. The charm of St. Davids, with its stunning cathedral and picturesque landscapes, is undeniable, yet greater access through improved rail, bus and coach services could significantly benefit both residents and the many visitors drawn to its historical and natural attractions.

Developing a more robust public transport system, including developing a central train station, could also play a crucial role in preserving the city's beauty by reducing traffic congestion and the environmental impact of private vehicles, promoting a more sustainable tourism and community life model.

  1. St. Asaph

With 31 BCT stops and only one train station, St. Asaph presents a scenario where public transport is present but remains ripe for expansion. This city, with its rich history and vibrant community, could greatly benefit from an enhanced bus and coach network.

Improving public transport in St. Asaph would not only make the city more accessible to residents and visitors but could also act as a catalyst for economic development, enabling easier access to local businesses, services, and attractions. Moreover, investing in public transport could support St. Asaph's environmental goals, offering a cleaner, more sustainable alternative to car travel and contributing to the community's overall well-being.

  1. Westminster

Despite being at the core of one of the world's most extensive public transport networks, Westminster has room for improvement with 39 BCT stops. This area, home to some of the capital's most iconic landmarks and institutions, could significantly benefit from targeted enhancements to its bus and coach services.

By refining and expanding these services, Westminster can improve mobility for the countless workers, residents, and tourists who navigate its streets daily. Enhancing connectivity in this central area not only supports London's broader transport objectives, including sustainability and accessibility but also ensures that Westminster remains a world-leading example of urban mobility and cultural accessibility.

What are the benefits of public transport?

A smart choice for businesses

For business travellers, bus, coach and rail transport offers a unique blend of efficiency, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness that is hard to match. In the fast-paced world of business, time is a precious commodity, and the ability to work or prepare for meetings while on the move can be invaluable. Many modern trains and coaches offer amenities such as Wi-Fi, power outlets, and comfortable seating arrangements, allowing business commuters to transform travel time into productive work time.

This optimises their workday by freeing up time that would otherwise be spent driving. Furthermore, the predictable schedules of public transport can help plan a time-efficient travel itinerary, ensuring punctuality for important meetings and business engagements. By integrating bus and coach travel into their routines, businesses can leverage these benefits to enhance staff productivity and operational efficiency while aligning with their sustainability objectives.

An affordable solution

Bus and coach travel affordability is a key advantage, opening up a range of travel opportunities across the UK without the high costs associated with car leasing or owning a private vehicle. This economic accessibility allows businesses to relocate staff or send them to off-site meetings in a budget-friendly and environmentally-conscious way.


Choosing public transport is a powerful statement favouring environmental sustainability. These modes of transport are significantly more efficient in terms of carbon emissions per passenger than private vehicles, primarily due to their capacity to carry many passengers simultaneously.

This efficiency translates into a substantial reduction in the volume of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere, making buses, coaches and trains an integral part of a business’s efforts to combat climate change. Additionally, with advancements in vehicle technology, including the introduction of electric and hybrid buses, the carbon footprint of public transport continues to decrease, further enhancing its role as a green travel option.

Enhancing accessibility

Public transport excels in breaking down barriers to mobility, offering affordable and convenient options that cater to a wider range of potential employees. This inclusivity is critical in connecting remote or rural areas with major cities, ensuring that people and businesses across the UK have access to essential services, employment opportunities, and professional interactions. Public transport systems that include extensive bus, coach and rail networks enable people without access to a private vehicle to maintain independence and participate fully in society.

Alleviating congestion

The role of public transport in mitigating road congestion cannot be overstated. By providing a reliable and efficient alternative to private car use, these modes of transport can significantly decrease the number of vehicles on the road. This reduction in traffic volume leads to smoother traffic flows, shorter travel times, and less stress for employees. Moreover, less congestion contributes to reduced air pollution levels, creating healthier urban environments. The benefits extend to the economic sphere as well, with businesses and services becoming more accessible, thereby fostering local economies and improving the quality of urban life.

Let CMAC support your business.

As an award-winning ground transportation company with nearly two decades of experience, CMAC is dedicated to ensuring your business travel is seamless.

We provide unparalleled corporate travel services to facilitate travel to and from any destination, and our extensive network of tried and tested suppliers allows us to procure the right vehicles tailored to your specific requirements. Plus, our hotel and accommodation solutions provide on-demand and planned hotels for companies across the globe.

With our managed services, including event transport and door-to-door transport, we allow you to plan your employees' commutes and track each journey for safety and punctuality.

We also collaborate with public transport services to offer on-demand alternative travel options, ensuring passengers reach their destinations promptly and with the best possible experience.

Discover more about CMAC's full suite of industry-leading ground transportation services.

Built by Statuo, Designed by Arena