'Excellent deal' for supported bus services
Proposals to improve local bus services will be discussed by Bath & North East Somerset Council's Cabinet on 13 February 2013.
Through supported bus service funding, the Council provides money for 50 services that otherwise would not operate commercially giving thousands of passengers access to jobs and facilities. Twenty services were considered as part of this funding round. The following proposals are being made:
- Mon-Sat journeys on service 700/ 716/ 734 serving Sion Hill, Locksbrook Road, and Bathwick will be upgraded with a low floor bus and extended to operate along Cleveland Walk and the lower part of Bathwick Hill.;
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- Mon-Sat journeys on service 12 serving Haycombe Cemetery, Dartmouth Avenue, and Oldfield Park will be upgraded with a low floor bus and services will operate in the morning and afternoon peak, having previously only operated during the day;
- The enhanced frequency for services 6/7 to Larkhall and Fairfield Park will be kept;
- Contracts will be let for the existing pattern of Mon-Sun evening journeys on service 179 serving Bath, Timsbury, and Midsomer Norton; the service 14A late evening journeys between Upper Weston and Odd Down; and the Wednesday only Service 683 between Keynsham and Wells.
Councillor Roger Symonds (Lib-Dem, Combe Down), Cabinet Member for Transport, said, "These proposals represent an excellent deal for Bath & North East Somerset Council and local bus passengers, many of whose livelihoods and quality of life depend upon these services.
"Improving the supported bus service network at a time when public spending is shrinking has taken a lot of hard work by the Council. Bus operators have also played a significant part by reviewing operations and submitting tender bids that recognise the tough financial position. For example, First are picking-up some Sunday services. In partnership with all operators, we are doing more for less.
"I'd like to thank the huge numbers of people who responded to our consultation. We've listened to what people have had to say about how important many of the services provided are to them. For example, there are no changes to Service 267 between Bath and Frome or the 265 service through Bathampton, Service 665 in Keynsham remains and the services 507 and 533 that operate from Keynsham are also unaffected. Service 668 and 636 are also unaffected."
The service improvements do incur some extra costs, and there will be some adjustments to the existing tendered services.
- No contract will be awarded for Service 12 on Sunday's. This contract only had around 1,300 passengers this year and would cost the Council £12,000 to replace next year.
- Service 338 on a Sunday evening will no longer travel to Keynsham Park Estate and will operate as a 339 service through Keynsham;
- The Council will be seeking better value for the 6.10pm departures on the 672 service from Bristol, but the Council is committed to retaining a trip home to the Chew Valley and Blagdon on at least a Monday-Friday basis.
For more information about the Council's current supported bus services, Google Search 'Bathnes Supported Bus Services' or go to www.bathnes.gov.uk/supportedbuses
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