PEOPLE in Bromsgrove and Droitwich wanting to share their views on the county council's proposals to withdraw the £3million it currently uses to fund bus subsidies are being reminded they still have the chance to have their say until Friday, January 17.
Around 5,000 responses have already come through during the consultation, which started in early November. Anyone that hasn’t yet got in touch can do so by logging on to www.worcestershire.gov.uk/busservicereview and completing the online questionnaire. The dedicated web section contains a full list of services currently subsidised across Worcestershire, background information and e-versions of the consultation document that can be downloaded, printed off and returned by post.
Printed consultation documents and questionnaires are available from all of Worcestershire's libraries and Hub/Customer Service Centres. Copies have also been distributed in bus stations and at the recent county-wide Have your Say roadshow events.
Plans have been put forward to remove the taxpayers' money spent on bus subsidies to help meet the financial challenge the council faces dues to reduced levels of Central Government funding. Over the next 12 months a total of £30million of savings need to be made across the council.
The majority (around 80 per cent) of journeys on bus services in Worcestershire are provided by commercial operators with no involvement from the council.
Currently £3million of taxpayers' money is spent to plug gaps in the commercial network – usually the less popular or less well used services. The average spend on such subsidised services is around £1 per passenger journey (highest subsidy spend being £8.24 per journey).
Any potential changes to the bus subsidy spend would not be implemented until September.
Financial savings of around £2.5 million have already been made in public transport over the last few years through efficiency and operational reviews.