The following information appeared on the website of Northumberland County Council on 1st May 2012 – and is repeated here to assist in informing as many Northumberland residents as possible about “what’s gannin on!!”:
“The county council has begun a 12 week consultation to consider how supported bus services can work more effectively and efficiently in the future.
Northumberland County Council currently supports a number of non-commercial bus services in Northumberland to enable residents and visitors to access local services.
Although the council does not intend to reduce the amount of money it spends on subsidising these services, increasing costs mean that it will not be able to fund as many services in the future as it does now.
Some of these buses are not very well used, and local communities, elected members and bus operators are being asked to suggest how they can work in partnership with the council to encourage greater use of bus services and identify those routes which are most vital in their local areas.
These suggestions could include help with publicising services, changes of route or days of operation or minor re-timings which could attract more passenger numbers and therefore reduce the subsidy per passenger for existing service levels.
The council is also asking for offers to work in partnership to apply for funding from the National Sustainable Community Transport Initiative and to access other avenues of funding.
Interested parties are asked to submit replies to Northumberland County Council before the 15th July 2012.
The parish and town councils concerned have been informed and the full list of services being reviewed is available on the website at www.northumberland.gov.uk/transport
Mike Scott, head of sustainable transport at Northumberland County Council, said: “This situation is a challenge. Although we have agreed to invest the same amount of money in subsidising bus services, this amount won’t go as far as it used to. We must review those routes which are not working efficiently to see if, in partnership, we can do something to improve this. We must also make sure that we are concentrating on those routes which are vital to local communities. We would welcome the views of any interested parties on how we can address this challenge.”
Before we all start shouting and screaming, We would be very interested in your views! Please use the comments box below.