We can't afford to subsidise Pewsey's rural buses, says Wiltshire Council

This Is Wiltshire: Coun Horace Prickett, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for public transport Coun Horace Prickett, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for public transport

Cuts to bus services in the Pewsey Vale are being pushed through because Wiltshire Council’s current public transport contracts are due to run out in October, Devizes Area Board heard on Monday.

The proposed cuts are to the Connect2Wiltshire service, that will see the end to the flexible routes currently being operated and the night bus.

Kate Freeman, the Devizes Community Area Partnership spokesman, said: “There are a lot of upset people in the Pewsey Vale. We have been presented with a single option which will result in abandoned communities who have no transport.

“I understand the council needs to save £70,000, but there must be other options. This way we will lose the £250,000 that has been invested.”

Coun Horace Prickett, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for public transport, told the meeting: “I am very happy to take back suggestions but the contracts have to be renewed by October, or we will have no bus service.

“The fund that was paid for by central government dried up years ago and the service has been subsidised by Wiltshire Council ever since. We can’t afford it any more.”

Mrs Freeman replied that it was unfair that rural communities should lose out because of a problem caused by Wiltshire Council. She suggested that a transport consultant be employed.

Coun Philip Whitehead, the chairman of the area board, said: “We can’t delay implementing the new contracts by inviting outside groups to take part. We are still happy to consider other options until the new contracts are implemented.”

Comments (4)

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1:05pm Thu 22 May 14

MDP says...

Absolutely disgraceful.

They waste millions on building new 'campuses', refurbishing County Hall, holding (sham) consultations on everything under the sun, increasing their own allowances etc etc, and yet they say they can't afford a few thousand to make sure that those who don't have cars can get about.

Wiltshire Council, 'where NO-ONE matters, unless they're a councillor'.
Absolutely disgraceful. They waste millions on building new 'campuses', refurbishing County Hall, holding (sham) consultations on everything under the sun, increasing their own allowances etc etc, and yet they say they can't afford a few thousand to make sure that those who don't have cars can get about. Wiltshire Council, 'where NO-ONE matters, unless they're a councillor'. MDP
  • Score: 14

8:17pm Thu 22 May 14

Not Just Hot Air says...

At the Devizes Area Board (chaired by Simon Jacobs, not Philip Whitehead as reported), people were shocked to learn from Cllr Prickett that there would not be a service at all if we had any further delays to the consultation. This is an outrage. This consultation has had all the hall marks of a predetermined outcome: Invitations to Tender advertised during the consultation, admission that the consultation did not include the Pewsey Community Area Partnership, if changes had to be made there was time, but no, they were not interested in exploring an Option B with the two Community Areas. It is a prime example of how not to consult. Wiltshire must give time to develop more than the one meandering option that risks pleasing only a few with a big price tag.
At the Devizes Area Board (chaired by Simon Jacobs, not Philip Whitehead as reported), people were shocked to learn from Cllr Prickett that there would not be a service at all if we had any further delays to the consultation. This is an outrage. This consultation has had all the hall marks of a predetermined outcome: Invitations to Tender advertised during the consultation, admission that the consultation did not include the Pewsey Community Area Partnership, if changes had to be made there was time, but no, they were not interested in exploring an Option B with the two Community Areas. It is a prime example of how not to consult. Wiltshire must give time to develop more than the one meandering option that risks pleasing only a few with a big price tag. Not Just Hot Air
  • Score: 5

10:22pm Thu 22 May 14

Not Just Hot Air says...

I think the headline: "We can't afford to subsidise Pewsey's rural buses, says Wiltshire Council" is a little misleading. They can afford to subsidise them but must make cuts, and if they don't do it in time there wont be anything in October when the contract runs out.
I think the headline: "We can't afford to subsidise Pewsey's rural buses, says Wiltshire Council" is a little misleading. They can afford to subsidise them but must make cuts, and if they don't do it in time there wont be anything in October when the contract runs out. Not Just Hot Air
  • Score: 2

3:04pm Fri 23 May 14

politepanda says...

Wiltshire Council - where councillors can afford to increase their allowances. Where councillors are determined to plough ahead with campuses and the million-pound plus refurbs. (40k for taps - in one building!!)
Councillors will also ensure they spend whatever they please on "consultations" that don't mean a darned thing.
But a few grand to ensure people aren't stranded in villages?? Don't be silly - that involves pandering to ordinary people.
Wiltshire Council - where the cuts are only for ordinary people.
Wiltshire Council - where councillors can afford to increase their allowances. Where councillors are determined to plough ahead with campuses and the million-pound plus refurbs. (40k for taps - in one building!!) Councillors will also ensure they spend whatever they please on "consultations" that don't mean a darned thing. But a few grand to ensure people aren't stranded in villages?? Don't be silly - that involves pandering to ordinary people. Wiltshire Council - where the cuts are only for ordinary people. politepanda
  • Score: 10

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