Borough of Poole Council say they are facing a very challenging financial situation. Rising costs, increased demand and cuts in government funding means the council must make savings and efficiencies of around £19.9 million by April 2020 to balance their budget.
Potential savings of up to £93,000 have been identified with a view to achieving a target saving of £70,400. People can give their views on five subsidised bus routes that have been identified for consideration for change or withdrawal. The routes operate on Monday to Saturday daytime, Sunday and include a middle school service.
The majority of bus routes in Poole are operated without the need for additional financial subsidy. However, services with fewer passengers require financial support to be viable.
The number of people using bus services in the area has increased in recent years. This growth has enabled morebus to again reduce contract prices on some services with no changes to routes or timetables. This will achieve £30,000 towards the savings target.
Julian McLaughlin, Head of Growth and Infrastructure, Borough of Poole, said: “The financial pressures on the council mean that some very difficult decisions have to be taken. Good progress has been made to reduce the bus subsidy budget through working with the bus companies to make savings with minimal impact on passengers. However, this is getting more challenging and the list of services drawn up with the bus companies will be valued by passengers.
“Council officers will be travelling on the journeys affected to talk to passengers as well as liaising with passenger representative groups and other organisations that may use the services. We would really encourage all bus users to take part in this survey and give us their views.”
Last year the council spent £598,000 subsidising bus services and the forecast for this year is £472,000.
Five subsidised bus routes have been identified for consideration.
Route 7 A/B/C (Monday to Saturday)
Upper Parkstone – Alderney / Bloxworth Estate / Tower Park
Option 1 – Withdraw last 2 journeys from Upper Parkstone (Saving: £4,000)
Option 2 – Withdraw Saturday service (Saving: £12,000)
Option 3 – Both option 1 and Option 2. Withdraw Saturday service and the last two journeys from Upper Parkstone on Mondays to Fridays (Saving: £16,000)
Poole – Kinson via Ringwood Road, Newtown, Alderney and Bearwood Estate
Proposal: to withdraw complete Sunday service (Saving: £6,858)
32 (Monday to Saturday)
Option 1 – Withdraw Saturday (Saving: £5,299)
Option 2 – Reduce to 3 days per week (Saving: £14,720)
Option 3 – To reduce the service to short journeys operating on Mondays to Saturdays between Merley and Poole (and return) and between Kinson and Bournemouth (and return) (Saving: £14,000)
Bearwood/Merley – Allenbourn School, Wimborne
Proposal: withdraw standalone contract and provide service through a revised morebus 4 service with extensions between Wimborne Square and Allenbourn School (Saving: £24,600)
Broadstone – Canford Heath – Upper Parkstone – Westbourne – Bournemouth
Proposal: withdraw 0650 Broadstone to Bournemouth journey on a Saturday. (Saving: £809)
In addition, negotiated price reductions on a range of evening and Sunday contracts without changes to routes or timetables will achieve a saving of more than £30,000.
The council say no decisions will be taken until the New Year with any changes being implemented from May 2018 onwards.
You can Read more information and complete the online survey by Sunday 29 October
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