Wiltshire Council is making more cuts to the bus services it subsidises in the wider Marlborough area.
Following the consultation last year, which brought more than 11,000 responses, the Council’s cabinet decided to retain 97 per cent of passenger journeys. But £500,000 in annual savings were required.
The Council says that the majority of savings has been found “with little disruption to services”. But with the forthcoming cuts, this time they admit that “any future changes are likely to impact more people.”
The evening service between Marlborough and Swindon – the 70A/72A service – will not operate after August 14. Bus services in the Great Bedwyn area will operate “at less frequency.”
The Connect2Wiltshire Pewsey to Devizes service will also be reduced in frequency. There is however a ‘short consultation’ underway for this service – which can be found here.
Last summer, as we reported, the services linking Pewsey and Devizes were the subject of an intense negotiation between Pewsey and Devizes Community Area Partnerships and Wiltshire Council. This saved the important routes by establishing a new framework for them.
Bridget Wayman, Wiltshire Council’s new cabinet member for transport, acknowledged the huge response to the consultation last year: “It really showed how much people value their local buses, and I am grateful to everyone who took the time to take part.”
“The information we had really has helped us, and we continue to buck the national trend by safeguarding the services people really need.”
Half of the bus mileage in the county is subsidised by £4.5 million per year from Wiltshire Council as it is not otherwise commercially viable. The rest of the bus services in Wiltshire are operated on a commercial basis by various operators.
The council’s current policy of subsidising passenger journeys by up to £3.50 on most services will continue.