West Berkshire Council

Start date: 2015-11-03
End date: 2015-12-14
Results: 2016-03-03
ARCHIVED

[ARCHIVED] Budget Proposal 2016/17 - Phase One: Public Transport

Part of the range of West Berkshire Council's budget proposals for 2016/17, with supporting information and Equality Impact Assessments

If you haven't already seen our video explaining why these changes are being proposed, please visit our Budget Proposals 2016/17 webpage.

Background

The council has a statutory duty under the Transport Act 1985 to secure the appropriate provision of bus services upon which members of the public rely for getting from place to place. We must also have particular regard to the transport needs of members of the public who are elderly, disabled or those that may live in rural areas and have no means of transport themselves. Public transport also ensures that people are able to get to work which, in turn, helps to make the local economy as vibrant as possible.

We remain committed to delivering effective transport solutions and public transport is a key component of this. We currently provide around £1.4m each year to support bus services, subsidising 20 bus services operating in West Berkshire, which account for some 615,000 annual passenger journeys.


Proposal

The proposal is to reduce the amount that we pay in subsidies to public transport operators. We currently provide around £1.4m each year in supporting local bus services and are seeking to reduce this by £320,000 next year.

Services have been ranked based on the cost to the council per passenger trip with the most expensive being targeted for savings. This analysis suggests that:

The following services will be withdrawn entirely over the next 12 months:

  • 75 - Beech Hill to Newbury
  • 90 - Hungerford to Lambourn
  • 105 - Newbury/Aldermaston/Tilehurst
  • 154 - Beech Hill to Reading

The following services are also likely to be severely affected:

  •  3 - Newbury to Hungerford
  •  4 - Newbury to Lambourn
  • 6/6A - Newbury to Compton circular service
  • 101 - Newbury/Bradfield/Tilehurst
  •  104 - Newbury/Brimpton/Tilehurst
  • 107 - Downlands villages

We also support the following services, many with additional funding from neighbouring authorities, town or parish councils. These services may also be reviewed if the funding from neighbouring authorities is withdrawn:

  • 2 - Newbury to Wash Common
  • 8 - Newbury to Greenham
  • 20/22/46 - Hungerford to Marlborough / Swindon
  • 28 - Purley to Reading
  • 82 - Great Shefford to Wantage
  • 90 - Lambourn to Swindon
  • 102 - Newbury to Thatcham
  • 143 - Upper Basildon to Reading
  • H1 - Hungerford circular

We will be considering other changes to transport provision following a "Total Transport" review which is due to report to central government in 2016/17. This may have an impact on other areas including:

  • Bus stop infrastructure (eg real time passenger information)
  • Community Transport
  • The Concessionary Fares Scheme

What do we think the impact will be?

As outlined above a number of local contracted bus services will no longer be financially supported and so the service will end. In other cases, services may still exist but will be running on a reduced timetable. This will inevitably affect some residents who use local bus services for getting to work or travelling for leisure purposes.


What else have we considered in arriving at our proposal?

In recent years we have successfully re-tendered or renegotiated a number of bus service contracts with the aim of reducing reliance on financial support from the council but limiting the impact on the travelling public. Whilst these efforts will continue with the remaining bus service contracts, the level of savings required cannot be achieved without making service reductions.


This consultation is closed.

What you told us

We received 414 responses to this consultation.

We have condensed all your comments into the 'Summary of Responses' and everything you said, word for word, is contained in 'Verbatim Responses'.

These can be found in 'Documents' below.

What we did

A recommendation on how to proceed with this proposal was made to the Executive Members on  11 February 2016.

This can also be found below in 'Overview and Recommendation'.

Following this, at the Full Council Meeting on 1 March 2016, all Members discussed this proposal as part of setting the Revenue Budget for 2016/17.

At the vote, the budget was agreed with the suggested amendments.

This proposal has been superseded by a Phase Two proposal which will be determined by Full Council on 24 March 2016

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