Bus services consultation helps reduce impact

Bus services consultation helps reduce impact

People will still be able to make around 97 percent of bus passenger journeys in Wiltshire if councillors agree to proposals being put to next week’s cabinet meeting (11 October).

Following 11,000 responses to a countywide consultation earlier this year, people asked the council to concentrate funding on the vital journeys which people rely on – such as journeys to work at peak times.

If agreed, the changes will see yearly savings of around £500,000 from early next year, only a fifth of the savings originally proposed.

Philip Whitehead, cabinet member for transport said: “We had a fantastic response to the consultation. It really showed how much people value their local buses, and I am grateful to everyone who took the time to take part in the consultation.

“The information we had really has helped us, and I’m delighted we are proposing to buck the national trend and safeguard the services people really need.”

Half of the bus mileage in the county is subsidised by £5.1 million per year from Wiltshire Council as it is not commercially viable otherwise. The rest of the services in Wiltshire are operated on a commercial basis by various operators.

The council’s current policy of subsidising passenger journeys by up to £3.50 on most services will remain in place, and the council will continue to fund community transport schemes to current levels.

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