Bus service cuts at "critical level"

Cuts to bus services are reaching “critical levels”, according to a report by the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT).

West Sussex County Council was one of ten local authorities highlighted for slashing bus support by more than 10% year on year.

CBT public transport campaigner Martin Abrams said: “Cuts to bus services are now reaching critical levels. We have seen services lost year on year and with further deep cuts planned next year, some authorities may stop supporting buses altogether.

“This is a watershed moment. If Government doesn’t take action to help support buses, we will see whole networks disappear.

“Politicians, both locally and in Westminster, need to understand how important buses are.

“They may not be as politically sexy as big transport projects but they make a significant difference to the economy, the environment and to wider society.

“It would be a disaster if whole networks were allowed to disappear.”

West Sussex County Council is expected to make savings of £26.4 million in 2013/14, it revealed in January this year.

In 2011 the local authority announced which bus subsidies were to be reduced during the first phase of a three-year plan to reduce support for non-commercial routes by £2 million.

The CBT report’s recommenda- tions include introducing minimum access standards, having a new approach to funding, bringing in long-term investment and increasing patronage through the Government fully funding concessionary travel.

Peter Box, chairman of the Local Government Association economy and transport board, said: “Councils know how important local bus services are to their communities and have been working hard to protect them where possible.

“However, they are contending with 43% budget cuts, reductions to bus-related grants and the spiralling cost of the concessionary travel scheme which Government has never properly funded.

“Many councils simply cannot afford to subsidise bus companies to operate unprofitable routes at the levels they once did.

“Where bus companies stop running services, councils will look at other ways of helping people who used them, such as supporting community transport schemes and co- ordinating with local health service fleets.”

West Sussex County Council was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

Comments (4)

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8:41am Wed 11 Dec 13

Tailgaters Anonymous says...

Different county, I know, but the supported services in East Sussex in the Newick/Chailey area rarely seem to carry many passengers at the times I have observed them so perhaps WSCC has recognised that there is under-usage of the services and hence the cuts in West Sussex.
Different county, I know, but the supported services in East Sussex in the Newick/Chailey area rarely seem to carry many passengers at the times I have observed them so perhaps WSCC has recognised that there is under-usage of the services and hence the cuts in West Sussex. Tailgaters Anonymous

9:03am Wed 11 Dec 13

Morpheus says...

The state support of underused services is just like the state support for failing businesses in the 70's. It is just a waste of our money in the long term that could be better used somewhere else.
The state support of underused services is just like the state support for failing businesses in the 70's. It is just a waste of our money in the long term that could be better used somewhere else. Morpheus

12:07pm Wed 11 Dec 13

PetertheGrate says...

Morpheus wrote:
The state support of underused services is just like the state support for failing businesses in the 70's. It is just a waste of our money in the long term that could be better used somewhere else.
It is far from a waste of money. Without these subsidised bus service many pensioners become prisoners in their ow houses. they have no access to shops, doctors,dentists or even the Hospital. and having having one of the lowest pensions in Europe there is no question of a a taxi
[quote][p][bold]Morpheus[/bold] wrote: The state support of underused services is just like the state support for failing businesses in the 70's. It is just a waste of our money in the long term that could be better used somewhere else.[/p][/quote]It is far from a waste of money. Without these subsidised bus service many pensioners become prisoners in their ow houses. they have no access to shops, doctors,dentists or even the Hospital. and having having one of the lowest pensions in Europe there is no question of a a taxi PetertheGrate

11:18am Thu 12 Dec 13

whatevernext2013 says...

PetertheGrate wrote:
Morpheus wrote:
The state support of underused services is just like the state support for failing businesses in the 70's. It is just a waste of our money in the long term that could be better used somewhere else.
It is far from a waste of money. Without these subsidised bus service many pensioners become prisoners in their ow houses. they have no access to shops, doctors,dentists or even the Hospital. and having having one of the lowest pensions in Europe there is no question of a a taxi
why should the council or for that matter any tax payer pay for folk to live out in the sticks ,if you choose to live out in the country then that s your choice ,but why should the rest of us pay for it ,if your not happy with your access to shops they move to a town/city ,your choice so you pay the bill for your own transport
[quote][p][bold]PetertheGrate[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Morpheus[/bold] wrote: The state support of underused services is just like the state support for failing businesses in the 70's. It is just a waste of our money in the long term that could be better used somewhere else.[/p][/quote]It is far from a waste of money. Without these subsidised bus service many pensioners become prisoners in their ow houses. they have no access to shops, doctors,dentists or even the Hospital. and having having one of the lowest pensions in Europe there is no question of a a taxi[/p][/quote]why should the council or for that matter any tax payer pay for folk to live out in the sticks ,if you choose to live out in the country then that s your choice ,but why should the rest of us pay for it ,if your not happy with your access to shops they move to a town/city ,your choice so you pay the bill for your own transport whatevernext2013

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