Subsidised bus routes contract awarded
Telford & Wrekin Council has awarded the subsidised bus routes contract for the next five years which will see the majority of services unchanged. This follows on from the public consultation undertaken in September last year.
Arriva has been awarded the five year contract following a tender process and while protecting most services, the Council has also successfully reduced the costs of its subsidy it pays by 30 per cent.
The contracts that will be awarded and changes are as follows:
• Evening services on 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7 – these will continue to operate on a half hourly basis until approximately 11pm.
• Service 14, 15, 16 and 19 – these will continue as currently timetabled.
• New evening and Sunday services for Lawley – these will start from 11 April 2016.
• The 519 service will be taken on commercially by Arriva and no longer subsidised by the council. It will continue to operate as it currently does.
• The Council will continue to contribute to the cross border 96 service with Shropshire Council.
As a result of the major reduction in Government funding some savings on bus subsidy have had to be made.
• Service 5 cross-border route to Stafford – This Council will no longer subsidise the route on a Sunday. However, Staffordshire County Council will continue to operate the service until at least September. Therefore bus users will notice no changes to this route in the short term. After September the continuation of the Sunday service will be the decision of Staffordshire County Council. The 5a will continue to operate commercially by Arriva Monday to Saturday.
• Service 341/342 cross-border route to Market Drayton – The Council will be withdrawing their contribution to the 341/342 cross border service. This service is contracted by Shropshire Council and as such any final decision on the future of this service is up to them. We will continue to liaise with Shropshire on cross border issues and how the impact of the potential removal of the 341/342 can be minimised where possible. The Council is currently looking at options for providing an alternative community transport service for residents in the Borough to ensure that access is maintained to PRH and Wellington from the rural areas currently served by the 341/342.
Councillor Angela McClements, cabinet member for Communities, Regeneration and Transport, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to retain so much of the subsidised network, while also making a significant saving over the next five years.
“At a time when many councils are withdrawing some or all of their subsidised routes in the face of the government grant cuts, it’s a credit to all involved that we have been able to make such savings and keep the vast majority of our routes, which can be a lifeline for many people.”
“Thanks to Staffordshire County Council, bus users will still have a Sunday service to Stafford until September at least. Further communication on changes to the 341/342 and community transport alternatives will follow shortly alongside on-going discussion with affected residents and Parish Councils.
A list of all the subsidised bus routes that Telford & Wrekin Council will subsidise frohttp://www.telford.gov.uk/busroutese available at www.telford.gov.uk/busroutes