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Bus service review 6 March to 21 April 2014


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How to respond to the bus review
Why we are undertaking this review
Around 39 per cent of the 3.1 million bus journeys made each year in the county are supported by a subsidy from the council. The total cost of the subsidy is around £1.6 million. The remainder of journeys are made on services run commercially by bus operators.
The council spends an additional £1.4 million reimbursing bus operators for concessionary travel - free travel on the bus network for older and disabled people.
You will be aware that public services are facing significant financial pressure as central Government reduces funding to local councils as part of its austerity measures. Facing significant cuts in our budget, we are reviewing all of our activities.
At a meeting on 23 January 2014, the cabinet considered a report on the review of transport services. It agreed to undertake a detailed review to save £1 million over the next two financial years (2014/15 to 2015/16).
What the bus review covers
We are working closely with bus operators to explore how we can make savings through more efficient services and journey planning.
This includes looking into: 
* Integrating some contracts, therefore, increasing the efficient use of vehicles and drivers.                 Examples of integration include:
     - Incorporating school transport services within the wider bus network
     - Retaining some limited rural or market day services as feeder services which link to the core         bus network (key transport corridors with regular, higher frequency services)
* Whether or not some supported services might operate commercially and without subsidy
* Reducing the frequency of some services
However, it is unlikely that we will achieve £1 million savings purely through efficiencies. Therefore, we will have to consider withdrawing subsidy for some services. 
We carried out a comprehensive consultation in 2011, which asked about your bus service priorities. We would like to update that consultation because of this significant budget reduction and to help guide the decisions we will have to make following contract negotiations with operators.
We will carry out further consultation with local communities as we finalise what operators are prepared to provide with lower levels of subsidy.
Further information
If you have any queries, need help to complete the questionnaire or would like it in another format or language, please call 01432 260211 or email publictransport@herefordshire.gov.uk


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