Staffordshire County Council are reminding people to have their say on how the budget for subsidising bus travel in Staffordshire can be best spent – whether they use the bus or not.
The consultation, which started in July, closes on Sunday September 17th, is asking people for their views on four possible options for subsidised bus travel with the money that is available for 2017/18. All bus journeys made in Staffordshire are operated by either private bus companies or by voluntary and community organisations and the county council is
With the consultation closing on Sunday, Mark Deaville, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member with overall responsibility for transport, said: “Although most bus journeys in Staffordshire are made without any subsidy from the county council, the eight per cent we do fund can cost taxpayers more than £10 a passenger journey.
“With the need to protect statutory council services and with less money to go around, it is more important than ever that we make the best use of public money and that’s why we have put together four options all of which could be possible with the £1.3m subsidy pot now available. This is taxpayers money so whether people use the bus or not, we want as many people as possible to have their say about how this budget should be spent.”
There are four options developed after considering a range of factors including; the amount of subsidy, number of passengers, travel for education, employment and health.
- Option 1: This is the preferred option as it maintains the greatest number of journeys currently subsidised by the county council – and the lowest subsidy per passenger trip at £1.60. There would be no Dial-A-Ride services
- Option 2: Maintains fewer bus journeys, but maintains the South Staffordshire and Staffordshire Moorlands Connect. These Dial-A-Ride services would be subsidised at £8.20 per passenger trip
- Option 3: Protects even fewer supported local bus services, but keeps all four existing Dial-A-Ride services, except Border Car, at an £8.80 subsidy per trip
- Option 4: Provides a county-wide network of dial-a-ride services at an average cost of £10 per passenger journey. No other bus journeys will be subsidised
As well as continuing to subsidise some journeys the council remains committed to helping the community and voluntary transport schemes to flourish. Full details of the options and how to have your say can be found at http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/busreview
The final option will be agreed by Cabinet in the autumn and changes implemented in April 2018