Thursday, August 18, 2016

Fag Packet Bus Consultation

The idea that at it's very core, bus services in Swindon operate for the poorest and most isolated in our town, is rapidly being rewritten when Swindon Borough Council withdraws all funding for supported bus services in the Borough. Chiseldon will get a double-hit.

The council wants to make Swindon's bus network fully commercial (95% of it already is) in the very near future. Let's be clear, there's no legal obligation to do this, Swindon Borough Council are choosing to not pay for support to those more lightly-used bus services.

So if you use 6, 7, 8, 9, 11A, 12, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 46, 46A, 48, 48A, 51, 65, 70A, 72A, 71 and 90, they will be either withdrawn, frequency cutback, route cutback, merged, or replaced with a BusLink service that will drop you somewhere to catch a commercial bus service for the rest of your journey.

There's a bus consultation that is open until 22nd August, and everyone who has an interest should fill it out. But as with all the other cuts SBC have or are about to make, there's an air of sad inevitability about it. It seems that Swindon, indeed the whole of the UK has cutback fatigue. 

So these buses will go, or change. And the poor, elderly, vulnerable and sick will suffer, simply because they don't drive or they live out in the sticks. How's that for achieving SBC's priority 4 of helping vulnerable adults and children?

The idea that a town as rich with corporate HQs, businesses, industrial plants and wealthy individuals cannot afford to run a bus service for the elderly is shameful and an embarrassment to Swindon.

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