Sunday, 19 February 2012

Concessionary Bus Passes

That Torbay Council should not implement the planned 30% cut in the reimbursement paid to bus companies for concessionary bus rides taken in Torbay as this will almost certainly lead to serious cuts in bus services in The Bay.

Bus companies are profit making concerns, running at a loss is not an option. Reducing the reimbursement will cause many of our bus routes to run at a loss and once gone they will never be replaced.

The action The Council are planning has extremely serious long term consequences for all of us here in Torbay.
The above is a petition I have placed on Torbay's e-Petition site. This link will take you to the page so you can sign this petition; but not yet as each e-Petition has to be approved by the council. So far as I can tell only one e-petition has been approved. The site if fairly new so maybe it is the only one that has been submitted apart from mine.
I would urge anyone who lives, works or studies in Torbay to sign this petition even if they never use a bus.

Stagecoach, The largest bus operator in The Bay have already stated that should the planned reduction take place they will be forced to reduce their services. Fewer bus services first of all means fewer bus drivers, more unemployed people to add to the already large queue at the job centre and for Housing and Council Tax Benefits. Then, because there are fewer bus there will soon be more cars on the road at a time when every right thinking local authority should be looking for ways to reduce their number.

You do have a job and use the bus to get to work. Get used to the idea of leaving home much sooner each morning, less frequent buses mean fuller buses, I hope your boss is understanding when you tell him for the nth time the bus went straight passed you at the bus stop.

Your children use the bus to get to school. Getting them up even earlier than at present could be come a serious problem. If there isn't a suitable bus any more you will have to drive them to school and pick them up again in the evening, think of the difficulties that will cause you and the traffic jams it will cause around just about every school in The Bay.
Do you live away from a main bus route, i.e. the 12 or 32. At present there might be a bus every 30 minutes or every hour. Those routes will be the first to go or at the very least reduced even further. How will the elderly and infirm get out or does the council expect them to sit and stare out the window of their living rooms for the rest of their inactive lives.
Holidaymakers have often commented to me how easy it is to get round the area using our bus services, Paignton, Brixham, Totnes, Babbacombe, Exeter, Teignmouth, Newton Abbot, Buckfast even Kingswear and Dartmouth . Next time they come here it is likely that that attitude will change, as will the destination of their next summer holiday. We don't get enough holidaymakers as it is, we can not afford to drive them away like this. Foreign language students, love them or hate them, they bring their spending money into The Bayand they don't just spend time in a class room chanting irregular verbs. They want to explore the area, and do so by bus. Reduce the bus services and visitor numbers will sink out of sight.
Councils have a duty to care for the well being of all the people who live in their area. It would appear that our council has forgotten this fact. Please sign the petition and get everyone who know to sign it as well or we could end up with only the 12 and the 32 services running in Torbay.

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