Proposed cuts to bus services

Surrey County Council is proposing to make cuts to its local transport budget to the tune of  £2 million by 2017/18.  The proposals will be discussed at the Cabinet meeting next Tuesday (23 June).

You can see the report that will be presented to the meeting here: http://mycouncil.surreycc.gov.uk/mgIssueHistoryHome.aspx?IId=13185

I have submitted the following questions:

  1. The first Local Transport Review resulted in a host of measures being proposed by bus users in Surrey to improve Surrey’s bus travel, which are clearly prioritised and set out in the cabinet report. Please can you confirm how these set of positive suggestions will be taken forward with ‘invest to save’ proposals across Surrey (or similar) as opposed to being limited to specific capital funding bids such as the excellent news of an improved bus corridor between Redhill, Reigate and Horley announced recently. What will be the timescale for considering these positive opportunities to make savings through improving the service level be considered. Please can you confirm when the consultation for the further bus budget savings is expected to focus on these elements to avoid the need to impact even more bus routes in the two subsequent parts of this Local Transport Review proposed in 2016 and 2017.

 

  1. The number of passengers affected (234) appears to assume that the average user uses a bus 5 times a week. Please can you confirm the total number of people that are likely to be affected by the changes.

 

  1. Surrey’s Local Transport Plan (published July 2014 – see Executive Summary at http://new.surreycc.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/29898/STP-Executive-Summary-2014.pdf) includes an objective for Sustainable Transport (to provide an integrated transport system that protects the environment, keeps people healthy and provides for lower carbon transport choices) alongside objectives to improve the effectiveness, reliability and safety of transport in Surrey. This implies a greater role for sustainable travel options, including bus travel in the future, with this taking a greater share of transport on Surrey roads, thereby reducing congestion. Please can you confirm if this understanding is correct and also whether the impact of the Local Transport Review has as its baseline an increase in annual use of bus travel or maintaining bus travel as the same percentage of total transport on Surrey’s roads, and how the chosen baseline sits with the Surrey Local Transport Plan commitments.

 

  1. Some of the bus changes will require passengers to change journeys and use separate buses to complete their journey. With the current ticketing arrangements this will be more expensive. Please can you confirm that through-ticketing is being considered to ensure that impact of the proposed changes are minimised, as well as to encourage increased bus use in Surrey.

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