Bus changes meeting
A meeting is being held about possible changes to the 31 bus on November 13.
On 30thJanuary 2012 the County Council committed to a three-year phased programme of reducing the £2.7 million budget that the Council uses to subsidise bus services and the funding available will gradually drop to £1.5m per annum from April 2014.
Around 90 percent of public transport in Cambridgeshire is run commercially with no involvement from the local authority, with only 10 percent receiving any form of financial support (or subsidy) from the County Council.
The majority of subsidised services operate in the more rural areas of the county where passenger numbers are low or where the lengths of journey mean that operating costs are high, making the services unviable to operate commercially. On some of these services the level of subsidy required is over £10 per person for a single trip.
A project is now looking to work with the local community to investigate alternative ways to provide transport which gives a solution to the transport need but is also cost-effective. It is appreciated that for some, the subsidised service is the lifeline that enables them to access essential services. For this reason the project aims to deliver new transport solutions in places where subsidised services may be withdrawn.
There are 4 services in Area G that receive a subsidy from the County Council. All the journeys in Area G could be affected by the subsidy withdrawal. Below is a list of the services affected in each area:
Detailed timetables for each service listed above can be found at this webpage: http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/transport/cft/buses-affected.htm
There are several types of transport that could provide a solution to the removal of subsidies services, including:
· Travel clubs or car clubs
A description of these transport solutions is provided on the CountyCouncil website:
The transport solution(s) will vary across the county - one size will not fit all. The project aims to be creative and find innovative solutions to historic problems, but if the best solution to deliver an essential service is to retain the current form of provision, this will remain an option.
The group behind the project seeks to encourage local communities and service providers to become more involved in the process of designing and delivering transport, developing a culture of co-production. By encouraging community involvement throughout the process and broadening the reach to include potential passengers as well as existing ones, the resulting transport will be more sustainable and viable.
The first step towards this is to work with local communities to assess the transport need in their local area. The County Council will then work with the community and partners (such as transport providers, parish and district councils, key local groups, etc) to design transport solutions that best reflect the identified need.
It is hoped that Councillors will play an active role in developing and supporting the engagement process, using their local knowledge and experience.
It is recognised that Parish, District and County councillors will act as the key agent of engagement, helping to steer and involve groups and individuals who are active in the community to contribute to the project. Councillors will be able to advise and lend credibility to the formation of Working Groups and ensure the most difficult-to-reach are included in the process.
A meeting has been arranged to discuss the project plans for Area G with Councillors. The meeting will take place on Wednesday 13th November, 2-3pm at Haslingfield Village Hall, New Road, Haslingfield, CB23 1JP.
It is hoped this meeting will achieve the following outcomes: