Have your say on bus service subsidies

People in Poole can give their views on proposals to reduce the council's budget for bus subsidies. 

Borough of Poole faces a very challenging financial situation. Rising costs, increased demand and cuts in government funding means the council must make savings and efficiencies of around £19.9 million by April 2020 to balance its budget. 

Potential savings of up to £93,000 have been identified with a view to achieving a target saving of £70,400. 

People can give their views on five subsidised bus routes that have been identified for consideration for change or withdrawal. The routes operate on Monday to Saturday daytime, Sunday and include a middle school service. 

The majority of bus routes in Poole are operated without the need for additional financial subsidy. However, services with fewer passengers require financial support to be viable. 

The number of people using bus services in the area has increased in recent years. This growth has enabled morebus to again reduce contract prices on some services with no changes to routes or timetables. This will achieve £30,000 towards the savings target.

Julian McLaughlin, Head of Growth and Infrastructure, Borough of Poole, said: "The financial pressures on the council mean that some very difficult decisions have to be taken. Good progress has been made to reduce the bus subsidy budget through working with the bus companies to make savings with minimal impact on passengers. However, this is getting more challenging and the list of services drawn up with the bus companies will be valued by passengers. 

"Council officers will be travelling on the journeys affected to talk to passengers as well as liaising with passenger representative groups and other organisations that may use the services. We would really encourage all bus users to take part in this survey and give us their views.” 

No decisions will be taken until the New Year with any changes being implemented from May 2018 onwards.

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