As RBfH predicted the recent bus survey divided opinion as to the way forward…there were so many leading questions and so many ridiculous options, one for example, being the removal of supported buses on Saturdays, one of the busiest days of the week and one where young people can get to town to meet their friends.
The savings from the proposed cuts in this budgetary round amounts to a mere 0.6% of the Council’s budget. To what end? The results highlighted that nearly 90% of respondents considered that any cuts to their service would lead to a high impact, not an unreasonable conclusion given the withdrawals to date have left a minimal rural service and a so-called University City in the making without evening or Sunday buses on most nights and most routes. Some 30% of people asked for no cuts at all and 30% did not have a car available or any other reasonable alternative. Hardly a favourable response to the council’s proposals to withdraw services.
The Buses Sub-group will continue its dialogue with Cabinet members of the council. We want to stress three points:
- That the Council needs to be more upbeat and promote existing services as a value for money contribution to our economy and social life…the constant gloom about buses is damaging everyday services
- That the definition of secondary core services in the future needs to re- 5 instate those which serve large settlements (see below)
- That it needs to accept that Community Transport cannot make up for the loss of mainstream routes in some areas.
We urge you to write to the Portfolio Holder for Transport, Councillor Rone at [email protected] to ask for a modification to the proposed budget to ensure that the network of routes to our main rural settlements are maintained in the future, places which have populations of approximately 700-1000 and deserve a service, places such as Bosbury, Canon Pyon, Colwall, Cradley, Eardisland, Eardisley, Hoarwithy, Kingsland, Leintwardine, Pembridge, Peterchurch, Shobdon, Staunton-on-Wye, Tillington, and Wigmore. Their services are all at risk!