Fill in our bus survey, passengers urged
A review of bus services to small towns, villages and rural areas is launched today (Wednesday, 6 June) by Buckinghamshire County Council.
The County Council spends more than £2 million a year supporting public transport to areas where there is a social need. The review – starting with a rigorous programme of fact-finding among users – aims to make sure services meet the needs of travellers.
People who use any of the 40 County-supported routes are being invited to complete a survey during the next six weeks to establish local needs, usage trends, aspirations, and possible future use.
The last across-the-board review was in 2014, and Paul Irwin, Deputy Transport Cabinet Member, said: “Population shift and demographic change affect the use of public transport and impact on residents’ needs. It’s a shifting landscape, and the arrangements we put in place four or five years ago probably no longer match use and requirements.”
He said the passenger survey would provide essential information onup-to-date usage and needs, so that the review and consultation process would ensure financial support is targeted where it’s most needed.
“This is why it’s so important that we get the clearest picture of usage, and why I’m asking everyone who uses these buses to complete a survey,” said Paul. “The financial pressures on the County Council mean there’s a finite budget to support this kind of public transport and we need to make sure it’s being spent where it’s most needed.”
Survey results will be examined alongside ticket and bus pass data collected over the past year by drivers’ machines, and any proposed changes following the survey will be discussed at residents’ consultation workshops in relevant Local Area Forum areas starting in the autumn.
Paul said the consultation would extend to transport user groups, community transport operators, and voluntary organisations. Consultation feedback forms will also be on the County Council website.
The survey can be completed online at <www.buckscc.gov.uk/bussurvey> and printed copies will be available at libraries, parish councils and from bus drivers on the 40 routes. The closing date is Friday 20 July.