Thursday, 24 February 2011


After weeks of my warnings the County Council confirmed their cuts to the local bus service , this will have a very big impact on many citizens lives. The 161 (Wells - Frome): Will run No Sunday service, the last bus at 1755 after the 17th April.

The situation could be made worse as seven off-peak services will be run by First on a trial "use it or lose it" basis. Its daytime services will remain unchanged.

The routes are Service 21/21A (Taunton - Burnham on Sea), Service 22 (Ladymead Road - Rockwell Green), Service 92/192 (Taunton - Exeter), Service 28 (Taunton - Minehead), Service 112 (Weston-super-Mare - Highbridge), Service 173 (Bath - Wells), Service 376 (Bristol - Street) and Service 377 (Wells - Yeovil).

These cuts mirror the cuts made by the Lib Dems at County Hall in 2004, cuts that were reversed almost immediately, sadly these cuts look more permanent.

These cuts from the Conservative County Council caused by the Conservative Lib Dem government budget, that cut public spending too fast too hard. The Conservative Lib Dem government have cut the Bus Operator Grant by 20%, this transferring the subsidy into higher ticket prices. Passenger growth has seen between 3-8% growth this year. The subsidy to the bus pass has also been cut from 64p a ticket to 34p, this effecting the viability of the bus service.

All in all these measures will make people's lives harder to live, commuting from the Mendip area to the cities is going to be made harder, tourism is going to be effected later in the year and people without cars or access to a car their freedoms will be curtailed.

Iain Duncan Smith MP sec of state for Work and Pensions said on the 21 October 2010 that the unemployed should "get on a bus to find work", so cutting the buses and leaving bus drivers unemployed is not the best solution.

The Conservatives through their economic strategy are cutting jobs, cutting help for childcare, cutting working tax credit that makes work pay and even cutting support for buses.

They are even cutting corporation tax for banks, giving them additional billions of pounds in the next four years, at the same time they are reshaping the public sector to be smaller, less comprehensive, more judgemental, making society more divided and less equal.

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