Bus Services after the Spending Review - Transport Committee Contents

Written evidence from Leven Valley Buses (BUS 25)

Your inquiry is premature as with one exception the local authorities in Cleveland have not indicated exactly where cuts will apply in local bus services.

—  1.  The one exception is looking to cut 50% from its' support of subsidised services. This will impact evening and Sunday services and in our experience will mean that the transport disadvantaged in the community will have fewer opportunities to use their Bus Passes.

—  2.  The reimbursement of Bus Pass has been altered to inevitably cause a reduction in service provision. Leven Valley provides "niche" hourly services penetrating estates that the larger buses of the major groups cannot enter. This advantage to transport disadvantaged will be threatened further as we cannot run full buses of pass holders and expect the drivers to accept 49% of their wages and the fuel suppliers to accept 49% of the cost of the fuel. Lunatics are running the pass scheme.

—  3.  The local authorities due to the new "big society" arrangements will not need to necessarily commit any financial resources to transport poor sections of the community. There are many pressures upon them that may have higher priorities.

—  4.  All Leven Valley commercial routes have resulted from requests from local authorities or local people for us to provide transport links. Being small we have always been close to our customers and kept them informed of our problems and involved them in seeking solutions. It is ineveitable that some cuts may need to be made in the light of the profligacy and poor judgement of the previous administration. My worry is that they are being made precipitately and, being front loaded, will result in the ending of several jobs at Leven Valley as efforts will need to be made to accommodate cuts that are perceived to be needed to assuage the effects that the unchecked greed of financiers and the profligate ways of politicians have generated.

—  5.  My plea is for a more measured withdrawal of the transport benefits that were so wantonly given as vote catchers to we "grays". The way things appear to be going will devastate many travel opportunities for large numbers of Pass Holders who will realise how hollow was the promise to maintain their free pass at the same time as the "Promisees" were planning this undermining of the very networks needed to use the passes.

These comments are made with little hope of positive results. Buses, those who use them and those who provide them do not feel in any way important to the values of Westminster.

January 2011

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Prepared 11 August 2011