Bus Service Cuts Watch

High Peak Route 61 Bus Passing Through Hayfield, Derbyshire, England

Much as I want to share positive stories about public transport, the effects of prevailing cycle of cuts on the level of bus service provision. So as to raise awareness and to avoid the loss of services that people need, I have this rolling log page. As I see anything that looks concerning, I’ll add them on here as soon as the news comes my way.

November 9, 2018

This page is up and running again after a plugin update. While it is difficult to see how much more can be cut at this stage, I will keep it in place to capture any more such developments. After all, public transport usage has been taking a hit for several reasons and lack of dependability is one of those.

April 13, 2016

City of York Council also is having a consultation on services to which it wants to cut funding. All supported evening and Sunday services could see funding withdrawn and some services are affected too. Being a city, the effect may not be what it is in rural areas but it is a sign of the times in which we live.

March 28, 2016

Dorset is seeing services change or being withdrawn within the next few weeks. Many of the ones to stop running currently operate on just one day of the week so I suppose the council got to questioning the need to retain these. However, one partly commercial service is being lost even if the council is stepping in to replace another one that is shortened.

March 10, 2016

Bus routes cut or merged as Kent County Council bids to save £400,000 on rural routes (article from KentOnline)

March 7, 2016

Derbyshire County Council are proposing the abolition of their subsidised bus network like what has happened in Cumbria. This is planned for October 2017 and there is a consultation ongoing until 2016-04-24. It sounds short-sighted and I already have made my views know. It helps also that it is a survey that is easy to complete.

August 28, 2015

Telford & Wrekin council are embarking on a public consultation regarding the bus services that they support in their area. Apparently, it is only 2% of the total provision and costing around £1.7m per annum. Still, you do wonder if there are larger items of expenditure to interrogate and this is the story with much bus service funding in the U.K. Also, the consultation page on their website was not working when I looked.

December 18, 2014

During the past few months, Hertfordshire County Council have solicited feedback from users regarding bus services and are considering cuts in the light of the feedback. The usual suspects of evening and Sunday services are at risk and they have details of their next steps on their website.

March 31, 2014

Recently, I learned that summer Sunday and bank holiday bus services around the Brecon Beacons will not run this year, There has not been as much noise about the threat to the BeaconsBus network as its MoorsBus counterpart but it is in the same situation due to concessionary fare cuts in Wales. So far, all that has been possible as a mitigation is the continued operation of a bike bus but there needs to be some grassroots movement like what has come about in the North York Moors. What about it? It might be too late for 2014 due to seemingly short notice but could something happen for 2015?

March 26, 2014

Herefordshire Council are reviewing their bus services now and cuts are in the pipeline. You have until 21st April to make your views known. £1m of savings are being sought so this is not going to be a painless exercise and an annual subsidy budget of around £1.6m with an annual concessionary travel reimbursement budget of around £1.4m put the two year saving target in perspective. Maybe a council tax rise would be better?

March 25, 2014

Few places in England are escaping the chill wind of bus service cuts with Greater Manchester now joining their number. Only generalities are known for now but subsidised bus services in the area are under threat and Arriva’s service 130 between Macclesfield and Manchester is et to lose funding for Saturday services with changes coming into place from April 27th. Quite what form these will take is unknown to me at the moment apart from a general comment about some journeys not going between Parr’s Wood and Piccadilly Gardens but I will share more details when I do. Other services may see reductions in time.

March 24, 2014

Arriva’s Monday to Saturday mainly half hourly daytime bus service 16 between Altrincham, Sale and Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens is being withdrawn from April 27th. With bus budget savings of around £7m needing to be found by Transport for Greater Manchester, it is difficult to see its getting replaced unless an operator like first or Stagecoach steps in to provide an alternative.

March 10, 2014

Apparently, final details of cuts to North Yorkshire’s bus services are available and it is not a happy picture. It all starts in April but there is some solace in the introduction of summertime Dalesbus services around the same time. Many of these are seasonal weekend services but anything is better than nothing for visitors to Yorkshire’s dales who want to travel by public transport.

February 4, 2014

Worcestershire County Council have been sent messages as to the unacceptability of bus service cuts and it got featured in a local newspaper article too. Apparently, comments have been collated although the Campaign for Better Transport is contesting the expectation that all comments have been included. Thursday will see a decision from the council’s cabinet and they have pledged not to break the law. In reality, that probably means that they want to avoid going where North Yorkshire Council now finds itself. Perhaps, greater legal protection for essential bus services is needed than is the case at present. The current government’s treatment of bus services shows that it will not do much for that cause though.

February 4, 2014

Cumbria County Council are talking about phasing in savings by looking at nudging bus operators to operate services without subsidies along with other options. £1m is set aside for that purpose though it would be better not to do anything too drastic. The overwhelming message to the council appears to be the unpopularity of what is proposed and it’s not just about bus services either. Interestingly, a majority appear to be willing to accept council tax rises in place of service cuts. It’s something that possibly should be considered more widely. The corollary to losing services to spending cuts is actually paying for them through tax, never a popular suggestion but that reality is facing us all now.

February 3, 2014

After looking as if they were going to have more savings than expected, the decision to reduce funding for buses in North Yorkshire is being reviewed at a meeting on this coming Friday. Apparently, there was the sort of silo thinking that results in passing of costs from one department to another that negates any savings in the first place. Hopefully, enough concerned members of the public can attend so as to make their feelings known. One service did survive on consultation but there have been saving reductions elsewhere and there now are concerns about a reduction in the independence of the elderly that forces them into care homes. That, of course, could increase council costs too so any saving on bus funding would be false economy.

January 24, 2014

Even if they could have been worse, the cuts agreed by North Yorkshire County Council still don’t look pretty. They got £2m of cuts when they were trying for £1.1. Were we too weak in opposing them or how else did this happen? Are bus users seen as a soft touch for cuts like this too? Maybe we are seen just as a special interest group in comparison to others.

January 15, 2014

Lancashire has been having a consultation on cutting some of the £8m per annum that they spend on funding bus services. It ends on this Friday (2014-01-17) after being open for more than a month. The survey is online so now’s anyone’s chance to ensure that nothing really important is lost. At least, they are planning on keeping most of the funding in place unlike other places but that leaves no room for complacency.

January 9, 2014

Staffordshire County Council are conducting a review of subsidised bus services in the Stone area of the county. On their website, there is a fairly open-ended form to complete that lists the affected services and you have until tomorrow to complete it. Only by doing so, you can prevent something very drastic from happening.

January 8, 2014

Worcestershire County County Council wants to save £3m on bus service support and are having a consultation on this. The proposals look very severe so, in the associated questionnaire, the list of affected bus services is a long one. Anyone that wishes to feedback on this needs to do it by 2014-01-17 and that’s only Friday week so there isn’t long left.

January 7, 2014

Cumbria County Council recently astonished by stating that it has no statutory responsibility for funding socially necessary bus services when I thought that was the case. Other local authorities thankfully do admit to the need to ensure access to public bus services. Cumbria County Council, however, seems to be proposing the complete withdrawal of bus service subsidies altogether and going for community transport instead. That sounds extreme so I hope that those very much affected will give their views on the proposals before 2014-01-20, which only is next Monday week.