Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum by Wotton-under-Edge Town Council (Bus 35)

RURAL TRANSPORT BID TO THE COUNTRYSIDE AGENCY

1.  SUBSIDIES IN THE UNITED KINGDOM BUS INDUSTRY AND THE RESULT OF "BUS CHALLENGE INITIATIVES IN RURAL AND URBAN COMMUNITIES

  Every town and parish council is entitled to a grant of £10,000 from the Countryside Agency, for rural transport to which they are expected to contribute £2,500 in "matched funding"!

  As this money is such a small amount, the three surrounding parishes were asked to join with us, to make a joint bid of £40,000.

  Two of these parishes have precepts of £2,400 and £2,800 and they cannot afford to put £2,500 towards the bid.

  All four parishes have decided not to contribute any money towards the bid, but to go into a rural partnership bid for a community bus. The bus would pick up people and take them to a main bus route. This could not operate with "Ring and Ride" as they have different criteria for operating. This may affect the take up of the Community bus.

  We are also considering going into partnership with Gloucestershire County Council to help subsidise a bus route.

  We in Wotton-under-Edge, were described by consultants to the District Council, as having a poor level of transport service and facility provision. Suggestions put forward by the consultants were extremely expensive.

CONCLUSION

  Such a small amount of money does not justify the many voluntary hours and expense of putting together a rural transport survey, and meeting the consultant employed by the Countryside Agency.

  This grant is only a "one off". What happens when this money runs out?

Councillor June H Cordwell

April 2002


 
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