County council criticised over bus consultation

County council criticised over bus consultation

County council criticised over bus consultation

First published in News Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

BUS services across Hampshire could be in the firing line after a public consultation that ends on May 31.

The county council has been asking the public about potential changes that could see cuts to subsidies and services.

But the county has come under for not publicising the consultation widely enough, except on the internet.

Elizabeth King, 83, a retired civil servant, from St Cross, Winchester, said: “This consultation has been going on since March 5 but most people I have spoken to know nothing about it.

“So many bus users do not access the internet. There has been nothing on the buses, no leaflets. It is a farce if you are talking about a consultation but not consulting,” added Miss King.

The county council says it needs to save up to £1.5 million from public and community transport spending by 2015/16.

The options include: cutting support for Sunday or evening services; reducing the frequency of buses, ceasing the 9am early start for the older persons bus pass and replacing buses with taxi shares.

Currently Hampshire spends £4.7 million on supporting buses and ferries, with a further £1 million spent on supporting community transport services. The county supports 200 services, accounting for 28 per cent of bus journeys, the other 72 per cent being made on services which do not receive a subsidy.

Responding to the criticism over poor the county council leader Roy Perry, said in a statement: “As well as providing information to all the local media on how residents may take part (either online, or by phoning or emailing to request a form, which can then be posted back or returned to a local library), around 5,000 forms have also been distributed so far to libraries, village shops, post offices, bus operators and bus stations, and handed out on buses during many of the journeys the council currently subsidises.”

The council has received around 700 responses, plus a further 1,000 forms online.

“There are posters on buses which feature the phone number and address for people to contact, as well as the website address and a QR code, should residents wish to contact us online,” added Cllr Perry.

In Winchester the subsidised bus services are:

2 Olivers Battery-Winchester;

6A Abbotts Barton-Winchester;

17 Bishop’s Waltham-Petersfield;

46 Southampton General Hospital-Winchester;

63 Owslebury-Winchester;

67 Petersfield-Alresford-Winchester (most journeys);

1 Winnall-City Centre-Stanmore (Monday-Saturday evening journeys after 7pm);

3 City Centre-Harestock (Monday-Saturday evening journeys after 7pm);

5 City Centre-Badger Farm (Monday-Saturday evening journeys after 7pm);

Spring city centre-Kings Worthy (Monday-Saturday evening journeys after 7pm);

95/96 East Stratton-Winchester (services on Tuesday and Thursday);

3/5A City Centre-Badger Farm & Harestock (Winchester City Forum fund late evening services on Thursday, Friday and Saturday)

Taxishares and carshares:

38 Southwick-Wickham and Cosham (Trips to Wickham on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday and midday trips to Cosham on a Tuesday and Thursday);

96 Meon Valley minibus;

241 Beauworth, Kilmeston, part of Cheriton, Tichborne-Alresford.

Comments (1)

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2:01pm Thu 15 May 14

OntheBoundary says...

This survey asks which services do you want cut. Let's give a different answer.

WE WANT PUBLIC TRANSPORT EXTENDED.

It's not just the cost of the subsidy it's also the environmental costs of all those car journeys that need to feed into the equation.

Let's think again about what services should be provided and how to provide a better service at less overall cost to the environment. Let's use the reserves and some of the unnecessary costs such as high salaries to provide a coordinated transport system we can be proud of.
This survey asks which services do you want cut. Let's give a different answer. WE WANT PUBLIC TRANSPORT EXTENDED. It's not just the cost of the subsidy it's also the environmental costs of all those car journeys that need to feed into the equation. Let's think again about what services should be provided and how to provide a better service at less overall cost to the environment. Let's use the reserves and some of the unnecessary costs such as high salaries to provide a coordinated transport system we can be proud of. OntheBoundary
  • Score: 4

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