by trevorcarbin on 27 January, 2016
Wiltshire Council has started a consultation on subsidised bus services. The online consultation is designed to encourage respondents to accept the council’s plans to cut back on rural, evening and weekend buses. It includes an option of withdrawing all subsidies so the only buses we’d be left with are those between major towns which currently run at a profit.
There is another way – ‘Option 247’ explains how, by taking an overall view of public transport rather than looking at individual routes, an enhanced service could be provided without massive subsidies. Here’s a message from Wiltshire transport campaigner Graham Ellis:
Under Wiltshire Council’s Review of Passenger Transport, their “Public consultation on the future provision of subsidised bus services in Wiltshire” is now under way. Some 98 different services or service groups are being considered for (worst case scenario) complete withdrawal of subsidy funding, effecting just over 2.5 million journeys per year.
In addition to ‘cut’ options – a sort of Beeching Axe of buses – there is now the possibility of moving to a bus franchising scheme. This integrated network approach allows the removal of duplicated services, the fanning out of other services to cover residential areas on journeys between towns and different village groups, and also opens up new funding and marketing growth opportunities.
Please take a look at the web site – http://option247.uk – to see details of all seven options. The site includes a link to the WC consultation.
I would encourage you to support option 24/7 – and to ask others to support it too. It’s the only option that doesn’t lead to a continuing downward spiral in which any remaining buses lose connectional traffic of their place in a complete journey, and become uneconomic themselves and subject to being withdrawn at a later date. Rather, option 24/7 takes the opportunity we now have – with support from our MP and from the Department for Transport – to put into place a system in Wiltshire that provides a more financially efficient, better for the customer service that offers new users a real alternative to their car, and offers bus operators a stability to develop that they don’t have under the current system.
Please ask others to take a look at the web site and the options too, and respond. Please copy this onwards as well, and encourage discussion and review.
This isn’t about saving bus services. It’s about people’s lives and quality of life.Leave a comment