Public meeting called to discuss ‘massive cuts to bus services’

Bus users, as well as those ‘who care about the social well-being of the Isle of Wight’, are invited to attend the public meeting on Saturday 21st March to share their views with the representatives from Isle of Wight council and Southern Vectis.

Bus stop middle of nowhere

This in from the Isle of Wight Bus an Rail Users’ Group (IWBRUG). Ed


IWBRUG has been made aware, following meetings with senior representatives of both the IOW Council and of Southern Vectis, of massive cuts to bus services on the Isle of Wight that are currently being considered and which would be effective from September 2015.

The cuts to bus services are being considered by the bus operator as a result of the budget decision made by the IW Council at its meeting held on 25 February 2015, whereby savings options to entirely cease funding for community transport and subsidised bus services were agreed.

Isolation for many local communities
Without the Council funding for non-commercial bus services – which funding has been provided since the deregulation of the bus industry in 1986, many local communities may see bus service cuts that could leave them isolated without a bus service.

Local authorities are empowered to provide funding for bus services, which although not being commercially viable for the bus operators, are nevertheless socially desirable.

Council budget cuts
Funding cuts by the Council are expected to have the knock-on effect of the additional withdrawal of even more bus services that are currently commercially provided by Southern Vectis.

David Rogers, Secretary of IWBRUG said,

“The Council’s intention to withdraw funding for these socially desirable and well used bus services could result in the most serious damage to the bus network on the Island that has been seen for decades.

“Over the years this funding has also pump-primed growth of the commercial bus network which has benefitted local residents and visitors alike. It has significantly encouraged provision of a comprehensive and frequent network of services, substantial growth in passenger numbers, added credibility to green tourism aspirations and increased the possibility of greater social inclusion for older and more vulnerable local residents.

“We encourage not just bus users, but also those who care about the social well-being of the Isle of Wight, to bring pressure upon the Council to find and use contingency funding to help maintain and develop further our local bus network. Cuts to bus services will damage our tourism industry and jobs could be lost not only in the tourism sector but also at the local bus company.

“We invite everyone to come and put their views about cuts to bus service funding direct to the Council and Southern Vectis representatives who are attending and answering questions at the IWBRUG Public Meeting which is being held on Saturday 21st March at 1030 at the Quay Street Methodist Hall in Quay Street, Newport.”

Image: jpennycook under CC BY 2.0

Tuesday, 17th March, 2015 5:26pm

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Filed under: Bus, Island-wide, Top story, Travel

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67 Comments on "Public meeting called to discuss ‘massive cuts to bus services’"

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BRIAN
I’m afraid bus users are reaping what they sow. Remember the stink they raised about paying a measly 40p to use the floating bridge. If they paid more to travel on a bus then they would have more services to use. If they want something for next to nothing then they will get next to nothing. Or perhaps they would like motorists to subsidise the bus services… Read more »
Gareth
I would point out there needs to be a happy medium. The current prices are far over that. When I was living in seaview and working in newport, I was without a car for a few weeks. £2.50 from seaview to ryde, then £3.50 from ryde to newport. That both ways is £13 a day. That’s way too much. I know there are rover tickets available, but… Read more »
BRIAN

As a driver you should be aware of all costs associated with a vehicle which equally applies to buses. Fuel,tyres,servicing, insurance, depreciation,cleaning, licences,and paying the driver. I would say £13 a day is quite cheap.

stephen
ideally the cost of a car journey as Brian suggests should be based on total running costs. HMRC’s recommended rate of 45p/mile is a good starting point. Secondly bus operators should be more open about their operating costs. My understanding is that a vehicle costs from £300,000 to £500,000 per year to operate; this include driver and back office costs, insurance, maintenance, statutory testing and licensing plus… Read more »
Rob

Brian can you tell me what’s the difference is between a day ticket on the buses on the island and in Portsmouth…
Its £5-80 Cheaper in Portsmouth. WHY?

I would say they are milking us to make a bigger PROFIT…

BRIAN
Like I have stated in a previous post. It’s all down to how many are using the facility. In Portsmouth and Southampton they know that bus usage is high so they can reduce the price per person. On the Island the buses are rarely used to capacity so the few who are on the bus have to pay for the empty seats. Imagine if you are organising… Read more »
Mark Francis

Have I missed something?
Since when did Southern Vectis run the Cowes floating bridge?

The Sciolist

Just think, more homes in rural areas could have meant viable bus services?

The people to blame are the NIMBY’s who don’t want new homes because any development upsets them.

These same people will be whining when the village post office, library, shop and pub go too.

billy muggins

Well here’s a brain teaser for you all. The council are going to make massive cuts to bus services so southern vectis buys a fleet of new ones.Who thought that one up with their logics head on

Medhaman

Surely the additional revenue from increased parking charges should be used to pay for alternative public transport like community buses.

BRIAN

There we go again. Want more public transport? Simple, soak the motorist with increased parking charges. Why not charge them £10 a minute to park then bus users could have a fleet of free Rolls Royce to ferry them about.

Vix Lowthion

Accessible, comprehensive public transport is vital for our economy and our daily life. I shall be attending this meeting. Please come say Hello.

stephen

Vix, how about sharing your views on the costs of running a comprehensive public transport network?

I am NOT suggesting that commercially run is totally good and fully subsidized is totally bad.
Check out the cost of a new low emission or hybrid powered vehicle.
I guess that light rail is even more expensive to operate with both vehicles and infra-structure to maintain.

Geoff Lumley

At Budget Council two councillors voted with me to protect these bus services for another year, at the expense of the £330k tourism subsidy: Bob Blezzard and John Nicholson. I provided a choice; 32 other councillors preferred to cut bus services, even though many represent rural areas. Hold your councillor to account.

milly

Yes you did Geoff, well done.

phil jordan
geoff lumley: Let’s be absolutely clear though geoff. Your proposal was to cut funding to VIOW (funding which is likely to cease in 2016 anyway) and to use that money to prop up other services for the remaining year of the funding to VIOW. The same situation would have been faced in February 2016 when setting the 2016/17 budget (indeed, with a further £9M ish to cut… Read more »
derek

Phil Jordan,It could also look that The IW Council is helping a certain section of Society.Be-aware,and take this onboard.

phil jordan
derek: Which certain section might that be derek…? I think I made it clear that the proposal to ‘subsidise’ a private company could only have been made by breaking an agreement (who knows if that is even legally possible….)with VIOW and even then, that subsidy could only last for a further twelve months. In addition, there are also ‘certain sections’ of our community that depend on tourism… Read more »
derek

Phil Jordan,You know where the problem lies,”So say it”.But there is more help(Funding)for Privatisation than Public Services.Look at the Solent LEP(BIS).

phil jordan

derek:

On that we agree…..!

Thank you.

phil jordan
derek: I’m happy to say that the severe financial predicament facing our local authority and our Island is almost entirely due to the huge cuts in revenue support grants we receive from central government…this conservative/lib dem coalition government. Those cuts are so severe we are facing financial challenges that we have never faced before and those challenges are seeing the cessation of many, many local services hitherto… Read more »
derek

Phil Jordan,Keep coming out with this, about this Government.You(Stephens)have got 40 days to get this message out, to get Turner and this Government out!

phil jordan

derek:

On that we agree…..!

Thank you

Billy Builder

Phil:
Don’t you as a council have the option to challenge the rate cap, by having a referendum of local people.

If enough councils had the bottle to challenge central government perhaps things might change

phil jordan
billy builder: Well, we could hold a referendum, as you say. Here’s the draw backs. You have to set the (intended referendum) rate for the following year in your budget. You then go out to referendum (about £180,000 ish to undertake) and if you get a negative response you then have to re-adjust all the council tax bills to show the new amount and return all over… Read more »
Billy Builder

Phil:

By not challenging the rate cap you are tacitly accepting the governments policy regarding councils finances.

You should either put-up or shut-up. ie because you have not challenged the governments policy regarding the cap, you have no right to use that cap as an excuse for subsequent failures !

Stewart Blackmore
Phil, I think that Geoff understands the Council’s decision perfectly; there was a choice to be made and the rest of you voted against it in favour of the Tourism option – and you seem happy as a Council to fall on the side of tourism being more important than public transport. I happen to think that public transport is just as important as tourism and should… Read more »
phil jordan
stewart blackmore: You seem to not understand Stewart that there is an agreement to continue funding VIOW until 2016. So before you start all this tourism verses buses nonsense just let that sink in. Geoffs proposal was to renege on that agreement and then use the funds to prop up buses for ONE more year. So, in effect, there was NO money to fund the buses for… Read more »
Sam

£13 ‘cheap’ for a days bus travel? (which is a week ticket in Southampton), I’ll have some of what he is smoking.

BRIAN
Depends on the usage per bus, Sam. On the occasions I have used the buses in Southampton they are constantly packed. Many cases standing room only. On the island you are following buses with sod all on them. Time after time I see double decker buses heading towards Newport with about 3 passengers. For any route there will be a minimum number of buses required to go… Read more »
milly
Dead right Phil and Derek. Well said. But where is Ian Stephens? I thought he was the candidate for the Indies? Well I spoke to someone the other day and they had never heard of him. Is he expecting to waltz into the MP’s job? He should get out there, hold a public meeting in every town.Get on the radio, get his picture in the papers. Turner… Read more »
phil jordan
milly: Ian won’t post on blogs (I’ve tried to change his mind on this!) ;0(( We are working on all manner of things right now…printing manifesto this week, getting letters out, planning, getting help organised ..all of those things that are necessary as well. It is not easy being an Independent candidate as there are not structures and support mechanisms from political parties to underpin ones’ campaign… Read more »
Vix Lowthion
£10,000! The Greens on the island have raised about £3000 and spent a bit more on specific items and events. We don’t have large pockets like Mr Stephens does. We don’t have any money from ‘structures and support mechanisms’ either. However we do have public meetings in every major town on the island in the next month – the list of dates is available on our websites.… Read more »
bus stops

Phil Jordan, can you tell us why Island Roads are not bothering to resurface bus stops?

Are they not part of the highway?

Cynic

Even more strange, why are IR whitelining the Yarbridge end of Marshcombe Shute when it has not been possible to drive in that direction for the last 6 months and the whole road repair project is delayed for the foreseeable future?

sam salt
You’re wasting your breath Cicero. Any mention of Marshcombe Shute is ignored by Phil Jordan. As for having 2, yes TWO, local councillors supposedly working on our behalf well all I can say is they need to get of their backsides and start doing something about this completely unacceptable situation. Today I say a Co-op lorry ignoring the road closure sign, 2 days ago it was a… Read more »
phil jordan

bus stops:

where do you have in mind specifically ….?
I’ll look into it.

phil jordan
tess/cicero: I Really do object to saying I ignore posts and questions here. That is just not true. I’ve answered about Marchcombe shute before and you may not like the answer but it is the fact. There is an ownership of land issue that is preventing works from starting because the land in dispute is required to fix armco barriers into. As to white lining. Once again,… Read more »
sam salt
Phil, Have you been and looked at Marshcombe Shute? There is no need for closure as the normal road restrictions covered any issues with the narrowing of the bridge. Are you also saying that Bembridge Parish Council on their website are telling porkie pies to residents? I would add it is not just me and Cicero moaning about this. It is the whole village. Does white lining… Read more »
bus stops

Phil Jordan:

3 bus stops along Sandown Road between shanklin and lake. One next to Howard Road, one opposite Cemetary Road junction, and the one between, shanklin side of Skew Bridge. Im certain there are more out there that have been left.

They are resurfacing outside my house right now, and its quite obvious the bus stop is being left as it is.

phil jordan

bus stops:

Thanks… I’ll look into it asap…

phil jordan
Tess: I have been to marshcombe shute many times. The road works issue has been reported correctly by the Parish Council who also confirm there is a land dispute issue which is holding up works. I have explained also before here that traffic lights at the first bridge will almost certainly back up traffic on the main road and eventually (dependent on volume)back down through Brading High… Read more »
Albert Street

@Mr Jordan. “I have been to marshcombe shute many times.” You will know that there is already a single carriageway system in operation much further back from the area concerned, perhaps a set of lights there could work taking away the obvious congestion concerns voiced here?

Cynic

Phil , I am puzzled as I do not believe I have ever accused you of ignoring posts and questions on this blog: the opposite in fact.

BTW is it not in IWC’s power to issue waivers on some milestone clauses to avoid IR and IWC looking a little stupid and save some money?

sam salt
@Cicero, you didn’t accuse Phil of ignoring Marshcombe Shute, it was me. I hold my hands up. My comment certainly wound Phil up, perhaps he had had a bad day. I will have to look up the press release the clerk from Bembridge put out about the ownership matter. It seems to have disappeared from the PC website. The minutes from the February meeting state “Marshcombe Shute.… Read more »
sam salt
@Cicero, @Phil Jordan. I found the press release by Bembridge Clerk. It states “Island Roads are awaiting a final design of the scheme which is to be sent to Mr Petre. Final design should be with them end of today or tomorrow. He is the landowner who is claiming to own the Embankment but it’s not registered on land registry and it’s been missed by his solicitor.… Read more »
Stewart Blackmore

If you’ve spent £10,000 you’ve spent more than the rest of us put together, Phil, and that alone is a sad indictment of your campaign.

It costs nothing to knock on people’s doors and, usually, they don’t bite – but they might make an exception in Ian’s case!

BTW he will, like the rest of us, have to publish his expenses to the last paperclip.

phil jordan

stewart blackmore:

What exactly are you trying to say Stewart?

What is the connection between campaign costs and door knocking….?

Why the dig at Ian….? Is this how you intend to run your campaign…? Attacks on other candidates…?

We are fully aware of the rules regarding expenses. Do you think we are not?

Albert Street

Now I seem to recall that you questioned Mr Blezzard being a political party of one – ironic? There is a huge amount of political naivety shown by the independent campaign and candidate. I assume that Mr Stephens sould have benefited by attending the briefing mentioned by Mr Blackmore.

How is anyone expected to vote for Ian Stephens?

I wouldnt vote Blackmore if you paid me...

How has this gone from busses to political ranting?

The same way as usual I suppose. Someone mentions the election, and Blackmore wades in ranting.

I notice Lumley originally made a comment vaguely to do with busses, but couldnt resist a political dig. Where is he now? Rock the boat, and open up the debate for Blackmore to rant… How sad.

Vix Lowthion

It moved gear as a direct reaction to Mr Jordan stating that Mr Stephens has spent £10k on his election so far – and counting.

He thought this was a sign of strength…

I wouldnt vote Blackmore if you paid me...
Vix – Look back. Geoff Lumley is actually the first to bring up politics in this. Then Blackmore jumps on the bandwagon to have a rant. It occurs to me that Stewart Blackmores job seems to be to wait for Geoff to say something, then weigh in and rant about it. Just what we want from an MP, eh? Its a shame Phil Jordan lets the labour… Read more »
milly
Interesting the bus users group are having a whinge, want more subsidy? Well here’s news, the Council are skint. Maybe if you had listened and shouted loud enough to protect Wightbus then it would be better.When the Tories gave it away you said nout. The GoAhead group are a huge monopoly, they are happy to take the subsidy but they won’t give anything to affect their shares.Some… Read more »
block8

As always in matters such as these, I believe that users of all types of so called’free’ services should be required to make a contribution.

That’s it – simple.

BRIAN

When it comes to the freeloaders, block8, you can’t use words like “contribution.” That’s a big no no. When bus users are on board their purses and wallets snap shut faster than the automatic doors.

Billy Builder
Back in the day the Bus Service was run by the Corporation for the benefit of the local community, ie a Service in the true meaning of the word. Southern Vectis are part of a large commercial group, taking large profits from IOW council and population to feed their share holders and pay big salaries to the upper echelons of their management. Perhaps if the buses were… Read more »
Maz
With so many bus pass users we must lobby Parliament to stop making the bus pass free, and make everyone contribute, say, 50% of the fare. I understand the amount the bus company gets paid for these trips is just a few pence. IF we cannot get a National agreement, can we not get an IOW agreement. And, yes, I do have a bus pass, and I… Read more »
stephen

Following your logic of logic of some payment would you apply this to refuse collection and library services?
Arguably as with other council provided and co-funded services we all pay via local community charges and national taxes but we have little say in how central government shares out the national exchequer.
Be careful of unforeseen consequences.

Robert Jones

It wouldn’t make any difference. The bus company will not run unprofitable routes, and paying part of the cost wouldn’t make them profitable. It’s not the bus pass which is making rural routes unprofitable anyway.

Robert Jones
It is plain nonsense to continue to subsidize tourist promotion if there is to be inadequate public transport for tourists to use when they get here. If they bring and use their cars, the island will become gridlocked. If they don’t, they’ll be stuck in the immediate environs of their holiday accommodation. They’ll be highly unlikely to come again. The council had a choice, and flunked it.… Read more »
Stewart Blackmore
Phil, it might be time for you to have a lie down. I wrote what I was trying to say without really trying. A dig at Ian? There’s an election about to happen. Spending money -v- door knocking? One is cheaper than the other and certainly more effective. Attacks on other candidates? I refer to my previous answer. Money to Visit IOW – it was a judgement… Read more »
phil jordan
stewart blackmore: You see, stewart, this thing about the buses and tourism is nothing to do with Ian Stephens (directly, that is). You have repeated again that you think it was a “judgement call” (and we got it wrong – all 32 councillors). One final time stewart. The amendment that you seem to be referring to that addressed the continued (for one year only)funding of the buses… Read more »
Stewart Blackmore

Has NO ONE a sense of humour – or is it just the time of day?

I wouldnt vote Blackmore if you paid me...

Stuart Blackmore, and Geoff Lumley seem to do only one thing.

Offer an “alternative” which is not really feasible, and then moan when they dont get their own way.

And now – Blackmore is putting it all down to his sense of humour??

Its like a couple of toddlers throwing a tantrum because they havnt got their own way.

OHMY
The bus company once tried an idea that worked,they charged £1 for travel anywhere/anytime,it filled the buses but was stopped because with all available buses and drivers,the bus company could not cope,too many passengers wanting to use the buses. As i remember it whenever a bus was seen it was full for the period,so what did they do,pushed up the fares to keep the numbers wanting to… Read more »
Steve Goodman
I remember the beneficial effect of the short ‘Fares Fair’ period in London, when bus & train fares were reduced; from the first day so many people made fewer car journeys that the roads became quieter, safer, & cleaner, especially for cyclists & pedestrians – as is still the case in a lot of civilised places abroad. Why use a car if there is a frequent, reliable,… Read more »
stephen

Finish the Fares Fair saga with info on the legal action that London Borough of Bromley took ‘to protect their local residents’ etc etc and the longterm consequence of this ‘political’ action which benefited much of London but not seemingly the worthy Councillors of Bromley.