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Author Topic: First Bus 267 (Bath to Frome) BANES Subsidy  (Read 541 times)
WSW Frome
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« on: February 17, 2017, 05:20:27 PM »

BANES currently subsidise the two later evening round trips on First Bus 267 Frome to Bath. It "appears" that BANES are planning to withdraw (part of?) this subsidy which will lead to a withdrawal of service Mo-Th. First are able to operate commercially on Fr, Sa.

Somerset CC have not supported these services for some time. There is a campaign in Frome to seek subsidy support from Frome Town Council. The Town Council do not seem keen and I can see why. I would ask readers if they know of any examples where "parish level" authorities subsidise (mainstream) public transport. I doubt there are many or any examples.

Fortunately we are blessed with the quite reasonable evening train service to Frome but Frome Station is not convenient for many parts of the town, currently served by the 267.
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richwarwicker
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2017, 07:02:43 PM »

I believe Falmouth town council financially support a couple of OTS routes around the town.

OTS describe the routes as operated in partnership with Falmouth town council on their website.

I also believe many of the community bus schemes seen in cornwall and Devon are operated directly by the parish councils with the council taking any losses directly so an indirect subsidy of the route. Most of these community buses are 16-20 seat minibuses running to a different destination each day.

Another example is Tavistock country bus (Tavistock town council) one of their services is believed to be the least frequent registered service. It's registered as 5th Saturday of month march to October, and runs Tavistock to teignmouth. This year will be its most frequent operation for several years as May, June and September all have 5 Saturdays!
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2017, 10:08:32 PM »

Until now, the 267 evening service on six days per week has been supported by BaNES as overall evening services would otherwise make a loss. Although it runs through both BaNES and Somerset CC areas, 267 support has been purely from BaNES because (I understand but don't have confirmed) of a "tit for tat" agreement over another route across the boundary which was/is purely Somerset supported even though it benefits BaNES residents.

My understanding is that BaNES have offered a proportion of ongoing support, with a request/requirement that it is matched from the rest of the route supported.  It's quite a clever move on BaNES part, as they're on win-win; if someone else comes in with support they have saved most of their money, and in no-one comes in, the people who get the blame are those not coming in.

I have seen the various figures, loadings for the 267 and understand the metrics; the majority of people will tell you that the evening service is always very busy, but this majority are on the final bus out of Bath at the end of the week and there are too many lightly loaded services in the lead up to that peak for it to be deemed good commercial sense to run the basket as a whole without support.
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froome
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2017, 09:00:17 AM »


I have seen the various figures, loadings for the 267 and understand the metrics; the majority of people will tell you that the evening service is always very busy, but this majority are on the final bus out of Bath at the end of the week and there are too many lightly loaded services in the lead up to that peak for it to be deemed good commercial sense to run the basket as a whole without support.

We quite often visit friends in Frome and travel back to Bath on the last bus at 10.20pm. It is very little used, normally about half a dozen passengers for the trip (tends to get a couple travelling locally within Frome, maybe one or two apart from us travelling to Bath, only occasionally having to stop anywhere in the villages en route). If this last service did stop running it would affect us a lot, as the train is much less convenient as we are heading for the other side of Frome to where the train station is, and the last train back to Bath is much earlier than the last bus.
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WSW Frome
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2017, 05:43:13 PM »

Last Wednesday Frome Town Council agreed to provide up to 1200 in additional support for the Mo-Th 267 (subsidised) evening services. This will be complemented by other contributions from parish councils on the route and Somerset County Council. BaNES are expected to provide some additional support for their outer parishes with First Bus making a specific extra contribution. This funding package is expected to allow continuation of these services for six months May to September 2017.

During this period a full evaluation of alternative (sustainable) options will be undertaken and reliable passenger data will be gathered. This seems to be lacking at present, partly due to the current ticketing practices. Passenger numbers on the available data are quite low. (First data shows circa 23 passengers per evening after 19.00 Mo-Th, i.e. on 5 single trips)  Frome Town Council do not expect to continue with this subsidy beyond September and therefore a "use it, loose it, or revise it" process starts now.
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