Bus Services after the Spending Review - Transport Committee Contents

Written evidence from Councillor Sue White (BUS 74)

I am e.mailing you in response to your question "re the public being consulted about the funding for public travel".

I am a Town Councillor in Crewkerne, a small market town between Yeovil and Chard, with 3,416 properties paying Council Tax. We have just been informed (without consultation) that the local transport affecting my town has been cut by the Somerset County Council as follows:

"Somerset County Council have cut the funding for evening, Sunday, Public Holiday, and night bus services. From April 17 there will be only two buses running in Yeovil on Sundays—one to Bridport and one to Wells. There will be no local Sunday services in Yeovil and no buses at all on the Public Holidays coming up."

As Yeovil is nine miles away, and no buses will be running as mentioned, Crewkerne will therefore be devoid of any public transport buses within that period. Many of my constituents are elderly and do not have a car and rely on public transport. The cost of petrol now is making people think twice about any journey, not just an outing out for the day. We are in the middle of the country, on the boarder of Dorset, and any cuts in public transport is a serious business for our residents.

We have not been consulted over such draconian measures, it is almost as though they do not care about the southern part of the County.

There are measures we could take and help with this situation, but Somerset County Council are hell bent on saving so much money and leaving the inhabitants of small towns without any infrastructure. We all know money has to be saved, but only this week I received my Council Tax Bill to the sum of £1,363.32. Somerset County Council are to take £913.16p of this amount. (Most of this will go on administration and pensions). We still have to pay this bill, but what we receive in return in grossly unfair.

I would like to see a Government initiative for rural areas. We are not all financially affluent in the countryside, in fact most people are living in areas where they have grown up and call home. I would hope you will take these points on board, please contact me again if you have any queries, and I hope for a positive outcome to this impossible position.

March 2011

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