It’s interesting reading the preamble accompanying Devon County Council’s recently announced Public Transport Review 2015.
The opening paragraph reads:
“To help meet the £50 million budget reduction required by Government spending cuts next year, we now face making savings of £1.7m from our annual public transport budget.“
which could be amended to read:
“To help meet the £50 million budget CUT required by Government spending CUTS next year, we now face making CUTS of £1.7m from our annual public transport budget.”
The document goes on to suggest that there are 3 options:
– making savings by changing services
– change the way in which services are provided
– increase charges for services rather than entirely taking them away
Yet when they say they need your help, they say:
“We would like to find out what you think about our proposals to reduce services“.
Indeed, more than that they emphasise this by stating:
“It will be the first time that we have proposed making service reductions for four years.”
To me, a better option would be to look at the way in which services are provided.
The current dialogue appears to be a negative one, as what seems to be proposed by DCC is a ‘managed decline’ in bus services in Exeter and beyond.
An open and positive dialogue with the bus operators could lead to a better grasp of what a strategic bus network might look like, including examining new routes and altering some existing routes.
Since DCC hasn’t provided any options, I’m going to look at some strategic changes to routes and/or services than might enable more of our vulnerable communities to be provided with some buses in the evening and on Sundays.