Bus Services after the Spending Review - Transport Committee Contents

Written evidence from D Hibberd, Town Councillor, Wincanton (BUS 79)

I enclose a copy of a letter sent to the leader of Somerset County Council for your information. I am very concerned about the effect these cuts will have in the rural areas, in particular on the young and the elderly. Despite all the talk about global warming and public transport the simple fact is that at every step the non-driver is disadvantaged. More and more we are expected to use a car as there is no other means of transport. This is a rural county and subsidies should be used in the countryside not in the major towns.

Please can you support this plea for a rethink on essential bus services by writing to Somerset County Council and pointing out the damage to those who are disadvantaged?

Thank you in anticipation of your help.



Please can you have the cancellation of the buses from and to Wincanton reconsidered? There are less people living in the country areas and thus less people using the buses. But these buses which are about to be axed are the lifeline of those living in the rural areas or who have no car (or a 4 x 4) to get to the shops, post office, hospital appointments, and other essential visits. In the summer families used to use them for days out. Young people still use buses to get to college, jobs, cinema and theatre. The Sunday buses are a blessing for those who need to travel through to Bristol, for the airport or to the bigger shopping centres. The late night bus from Yeovil is essential to return from the cinema or theatre.

Buses could be ideal for visiting hospitals, thus leaving car parks for those who just must use their cars. What happened to the campaign to use public transport etc, to save the planet.

I, being a pensioner, and using the buses a lot with my bus pass would be willing to pay a reasonable fee to renew the bus pass, although I do pay council tax which I understand helps to subsidise the buses. Maybe all these council workers should think about using the bus to travel to work and leave their cars at home.

The decline of the High Street in Wincanton is critical, we are over supplied with foreign eating houses and estate agents and an acute shortage of retail shops selling the essentials of everyday life. At the same time we are being inundated with houses and flats on every green patch in the town.

These will be occupied with workers who have to travel up to twenty miles if they need to work to live. Too many people travel outside the town to work and therefore do their shopping elsewhere leaving the elderly and inform deprived of the basics to maintain independence.

I am enclosing a petition signed by several hundred bus passengers to plead with the county council to think again and reinstate the subsidies for our late night bus especially, and also to look again at the Sunday services, maybe reduce but not remove altogether.

March 2011

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Prepared 11 August 2011