Monday, July 05, 2010

Thamesdown 1, Council 0 In Bus Changes

Thamesdown Transport have released the details of the service changes to happen from the 25th of July after the cutting and withdrawing of funding by house builders and Swindon Borough Council.

A hero and a villain have clearly emerged from this news, through the combination of their respective actions and words.

Thamesdown Transport have pulled out the best of a bad bunch, with no total withdrawal of routes but merging and lengthening of those lacking subsidy plus frequency cuts.

Swindon Borough Council's clear favouritism for people to drive into the town centre was made public with the recent cut in town centre car parking charges, but has now been cemented by the comments made in the Swindon Advertiser story on the bus service cuts. In reference to the concessionary fare scheme for OAPs, this was said, "Swindon Council now has to spend between £300,000 and £400,000 a year to meet the cost of the scheme, which is money that could otherwise be used to fund other transport services."

Swindon Centric Says ; Is the £100,000 now not being given to Thamesdown Transport (among other operators) now to be used to prop-up the car-park charges cuts? The Council will happily cut those charges, but will not lobby to counteract the underfunding it admits it has suffered under the concessionary fares scheme.

This Council favours car drivers over bus passengers and this is now abundantly clear. We need to be thankful for Thamesdown Transport, which, ironically is a wholly-owned Swindon Borough Council company, but has shown in it's response to the cuts has far more local knowledge, consideration and care for it's passengers than the Council.

There is a large space of clear (Thamesdown-liveried) blue water between Thamesdown and Swindon Borough Council. Would that it were the same for other council-invested companies...

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