Can someone give the BBC a maths lesson?

Last time I mocked BBC News, they sneakily edited the article within the day, so perhaps I should be wary of commenting on this local story about the pretty yellow buses than run (mostly empty) around the Quayside area. But there would be no fun in that, so I’ll carry on.

Passenger numbers on a troubled Tyneside bus route are improving, according to transport bosses.

The fancy hybrid buses have been a wee bit controversial since they started running last year. At a time when public transport services that people actually use are being cut, mangled, rearranged and generally broken, it seems a little odd that so much money could be found to subsidise a service which so few people actually use, and a lot of people seem to think that the whole thing is a waste of money.

It cost £8m to set up during the 2005 Tall Ships Race, but attracted as few as 11,000 passengers a week.

Well, I’m sure the setting up went on long before the Tall Ships Race, but the service did start during that week. Now make a note of that number, you’ll need it later.

New figures show more than 50,000 people used the routes in the first four weeks of August.

Oh, wow. That’s much better! That’s err, where’s my calculator, errr, 12,500 a week! A rise of 13.6%. In the peak tourist season. An improvement, but nothing to get over-excited about.

operator Nexus says the QuayLink service has now carried 500,000 people in one year of operation

Let’s be generous, and call that fifty weeks rather than a full year, shall we? It also makes the numbers rounder. That comes to 10,000 passengers a week on average.

Now that doesn’t really square with the first quoted paragraph, does it? Wouldn’t it be nice if BBC News actually did some journalism rather than regurgitating press releases? Either that or employ some staff who can do division…

Now stand by for that article to be transformed thanks to the Losing it[1] influence. Or not.

2 thoughts on “Can someone give the BBC a maths lesson?

  1. Pingback: Doesn’t add up : Losing it

  2. Pingback: Education, education, err, what? | Losing it

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