Sunday, 31 January 2016

News from other campaign groups about more possible bus cuts

This comment was made by Transwilts campaigner Graham Ellis

I travelled from Wiltshire (Melksham) on the x34 and back yesterday for a meeting in Frome. Although headlined as a commercial service, parts of the route are subsidised by Wiltshire Council and there may be Somerset subsidy too on some elements.

In Wiltshire, some 44% of bus mileage is subsidised - a much higher percentage than in other counties around including Somerset (23%). One of the options offered on the consultation is to withdraw ALL funding in Wiltshire - the other five options (when added together) only just make the saving that Wiltshire Council is looking for. Yet there is scope within the savings needed to not merely cut but to look at the overall public transport needs of "Greater Wiltshire" - and in that I include the border country to Frome and into Bath and come up with something that really works - not just a system of leftovers which doesn't make a proper network and is likely to be cut further in the next round when it's proven not to save the anticipated money.

So - what can we do? Please take a look at where we have set out a community alternative that saves the money, yet provides a proper network suitable for the future. For sure, fewer buses on some routes / though some villages, but what's left after adjustment and pruning would be a bush ready to spring to life again, not one that's been hacked so that it withers and dies completely

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