Cars choke Devizes roads
2:00pm Thursday 25th October 2012 in Latest News
The only way to save Devizes from traffic congestion and air pollution is to get more people to leave their cars at home and take the bus, according to campaign group Devizes Passengers.
The group says Devizes streets are choked with traffic fumes, with air pollution reaching illegal levels, but people are not using buses because services are not user-friendly.
It is organising a public meeting to discuss the problem. Jasper Selwyn, chairman of Devizes Passengers, said: “For many people, the reason they drive is because the local buses are not a realistic alternative.
“When there is such a big squeeze on Wiltshire Council’s bus budget, the future for public transport might seem bleak.
“Some £260,000 needs to be saved from the subsidised bus services this year, and a further £230,000 from renegotiated bus contracts.
“A silver lining comes in the form of a recent review of local authority practice in cutting bus services. The report (from Passenger Focus) found that if local authorities set up a meaningful dialogue with all parties, especially operators and users, savings could be made.”
The Devizes Community Area Partnership has recently published its Devizes Transport Strategy. When it was approved at the recent meeting of Devizes Area Board, Wiltshire councillor Richard Gamble said air quality problems at Shanes Castle would spread to other points if congestion increased further. He said: “We have public transport links with other towns but those links are rather limited and there is no easy link with the railway network. Buses within the town are also limited.
“We are extremely keen to involve bus users as well as people who do not currently use the bus. We want to find out whether the sorts of solutions that the group comes up with are sufficiently attractive.”
The meeting will take place at the town hall on Wednesday, November 7, at 7.30pm.