Isle of Wight council challenges bus company on service reduction

Leader of the council says that Southern Vectis should have widely consulted before switching the Route 6 bus to winter timetable all year round.

Single decker southern vectis bus by eastleightbusman

This in from the council. Ed

Leader of the Isle of Wight council, Dave Stewart, is challenging the recent decision by Southern Vectis to reduce rural community bus services, as there has not been sufficient consultation with the council or local communities about the decision. He expects them to rethink this approach.

Changes affect No 6 users
Councillor Stewart is also the local member for Chale, Niton and Whitwell, and discovered the decision to reduce the service of the number 6 bus to winter timetable all year, following a recent parish council meeting.

No formal consultation has taken place with the Isle of Wight Council.

Councillor Stewart, said:

“The Isle of Wight Council is a significant customer of Southern Vectis and for them to treat both this council and local town and parish councils in this way is, as far as I am concerned, totally unacceptable.

“Local communities have pushed themselves hard to be able to afford to contribute towards community bus services because they know they are the lifeblood of our community transport.”

“I am aware that the senior management at Southern Vectis has changed, but this is no reason for such a radical decision to be made without proper consultation with the local authority.”

Ward: “Proper and robust consultation” needed
Councillor Ian Ward, executive member for transport and infrastructure, will seek an early meeting with the new Southern Vectis Management to encourage them to reconsider this decision.

Councillor Ward, said:

“There needs to be a proper and robust consultation about this before any decision is made, as well as full negotiation, before such decisions are made in the future.”

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6 Comments on "Isle of Wight council challenges bus company on service reduction"

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Jon Young
Niton and Whitwell Parish Council learned of this decision second-hand, after Southern Vectis announced it to the Bus and Rail Users Group meeting on January 21st. We were surprised, to say the least, since our Council is supposed to be a part of the Community Bus Partnership (which Cllr Ward chairs) bringing together SV, the IWC and town and parish councils on rural routes. This winter’s Sunday… Read more »
Steephill Jack

Maybe Blackgang Chine could contribute something for No 6 ?

Jon Boileau Goad
With Reference to Blackgang Chine, you are quite right, and I am able to report that they have sent a business rep to our latest Parish Council meetings about Buses. We intend to ensure that they continue to attend and hope that should it be necessary they will feel able to provide some form of assistance. In the meantime Niton & Whitwell PC along with the other… Read more »
Steephill Jack
Good for you! There are loads of tourists who make use of our buses in summer, many of them from overseas who don’t want to rent a car and drive on the wrong side of the road. Visit Isle of Wight should be promoting our wonderful bus service to tourists and SV should realize how important they are in attracting visitors. People who don’t use buses don’t… Read more »

Was it not on this route that there were complaints of full buses last summer with passengers having to wait for the next service?

Jon Young
Yes, it was. Since then SV has put double-deckers on the route. This solves the overcrowding problem but it doesn’t solve the frequency problem. The problem is also complicated by the large numbers of pass-holders using the No. 6. SV is reimbursed for every free ride, but at a lower rate than the full adult fare. This means a single-decker can be full up but still not… Read more »