Bus Services after the Spending Review - Transport Committee Contents


Written evidence from J Raggett and A lock (BUS 137)

The diagram in the annex[58] has been devised by Jenny Raggett of Campaign for Better Transport (Bristol/Bath Travel to Work Area) to illustrate the severity of the cutbacks to bus services across the Bristol/Bath Travel to Work Area. This work has been done to complement the evidence to be given by David Redgewell to today's Transport Select Committee Inquiry into the funding of Bus Services in England following the Comprehensive Spending Review. Jenny would have forwarded this information to you herself had she not been on the point of leaving for a short holiday on the Continent and the time available did not permit her to search for the address to which to send this evidence. Indeed, I notice that in her haste, Bath has not been named or indicated on the pink circle to the right (east) of Bristol!

I should be grateful if this could be made available to David Redgewell when he arrives to give evidence at the Inquiry - and circulated with his evidence to the Members of the Select Committee.

Further to my earlier email enclosing the diagrammatic illustration of bus cuts in the Bristol/Bath travel to work area drawn up by Jenny Raggett - I have just heard from David Redgewell that my colleague may not have forwarded the following written information to you.

Very briefly these were described to me as follows:

126 - Weston/Cheddar/Wells services are cancelled in the evenings and a very limited service available on Sundays.

173 - Wells/Bath - service cut backs on Sunday evenings, apart from between Radstock and Midsomer Norton.

376/5 - Bristol/Bridgewater - service withdrawn on Sundays and no services in the evenings.

376/7 -Yeovil/Bristol - evening cuts and Sunday cuts with no Bank Holiday services beyond Wells.

21/22 - Wellington/Taunton/Bridgewater/Burnham - evening services cancelled apart from Friday and Saturday - and a limited Sunday service:

—  Bridport/Yeovil/Bristol via Wells - all services withdrawn except two on Sundays.

—  Dorset Services via Sherborne - withdrawn on Sundays and no evening services.

INVESTMENT

Funding for the construction of Bus Stations has been withdrawn. These include Bridgewater, Yeovil, Ilfracombe, Exeter, Plymouth, Stroud and Gloucester.

RAIL CONNECTIONS

All of the above cuts to bus services (and the withdrawal of funding for modern bus station facilities) will impact on rail travellers. They will no longer be able to return to their homes due to the lack of suitable bus services from Bristol or Bath Spa Stations. This is an added deterrent for passengers seeking to choose a greener travel pattern. Members should bear in mind that the wider Bristol/SW area already suffers from an acute shortage of rolling stock to adequately transport passengers on local rail journeys. This was temporarily overcome to an extent by a loan of carriages from other regions, but remains a very real problem and cause of aggravation to passengers. In addition it precludes the on-board staff from passing through the carriage to check the validity of tickets, thereby undermining the financial benefits to the operating company.

It is local rail services which have the ability to persuade drivers out of their cars, thereby avoiding severe road congestion and rising parking charges.

May 2011




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