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Author Topic: It's all about providing buses for the people  (Read 349 times)
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« on: March 17, 2021, 10:24:30 am »

Option 24/7 is about providing buses for people.  Where and when they want or need them, safe clean and sustainable, with information about them easily to hand, and at a price they can afford.  Our 2016 campaign was one of the elements which helped persuade Wiltshire Council to retain most of their support funding for buses; the campaign was just one of the elements, though - they recognised the real hardship they would impose on people like Ms G or Mr B, and backed off proposed cuts.

Our 2016 campaign also set the case for improvements - we weren't looking just to defend but to build better for the future, and much of that is reflected in the new bus strategy announced on 15th March 2021.  The headlines are good, the body of the text looks fine and sensible. We really hope that the devil's not in the implementation and detail.  May I introduce some new people - potential passengers - Mr K through Miss S - who I look forward to seeing on our enhanced bus services.

Mr K now travels to his office 2 days a week rather than 5. With 4 journeys rather than 10 every week, he can afford to travel just a little slower, especially as it saves him so much in personal transport (car) costs.

Miss L is concerned about clean air and wants to travel as green as possible. She'll go by bus or train if only she can - especially if it's cheaper overall than running a car.

Family M are off to W this year on the South Coast for a holiday. Rather than have the nightmare of a car in the congested streets of this port, they're going by train then using the bus to get around locally

Mrs N will commute to her work by bus and train once they connect at her local station

Mr O finds that he can think, relax, read on the bus - quality time that's lost when he's behind the wheel of a car

Ms P used to drive to the station - or sometimes all the way to work in Y. Increasing costs such as car parking, and the availability of a connecting bus from the end of her street, mean that she's now using that integrated transport

Mr Q now takes the bus. He used to drive, but finds that even the short walk to the bus stop helps him keep fit and now that the bus takes him where we wants, he uses it regularly.

Mr R makes a short journey but not on a direct transport route. Interchangeable tickets, integrated information and the filling of some service gaps will make his total journey practical by public transport - and he's delighted.

Miss S has found employment as a bus driver. She loves meeting all (well - most) of her passengers and helping the economy and quality of life with the service she's helping to provide.

From 2016 - let's remember and continue to provide and improve for Mrs A though Ms I

"It's not about the buses - it's about the people who use the buses!"

Mrs A can no longer drive. She relies on the bus to get her from her home into the town centre where she meets friends and does her shopping.

Mr B works in X. He's unable to drive for medical reasons, and commutes by bus every day; sometimes he has to work late and catch a bus back in the early evening.

The C family send their daughter to school in X - a journey of about 6 miles. It's not their nearest school, but it's the right one for her and she gets there by bus.

Miss D and her college friends want to meet up for a 'social' at the weekend or an evening; due to high insurance premiums none of them can afford a car, and in any case they want to be able to enjoy the evening without having to be awake (and sober) enough to drive safely home afterwards.

Mr E will be retiring in about 7 years - he's getting on a bit, shaky on his legs, and can no longer walk to the local railway station without it leaving him so tired he can't do his job properly.

Mrs F no longer has a bus to get to her doctors, so now she requires home visits.

Ms G had planned to go to college this September with a view to getting qualified and back into employment, but she's had to put these plans on hold because the bus that would get her home at the end of the college day doesn't run any more.

Mr H doesn't use the bus at all. But he can't get a car parking space in town / at work any longer as all the spaces are filled with people who used to use public transport, so he gets very frustrated and parks in residential streets to the annoyance of those residents.

Ms I is a health service / social services administrator, and she notices a severe strain on her 'customer transport' budget because she's now spending a lot of money (and organisation time) and arranging and paying for customers who used to use the bus.

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2021, 04:02:03 pm »

Here is a VERY local view ...


Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
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