Subsidised bus service contracts renewed for Romsey, Totton and Waterside
Wednesday, 12 September 2012
New, four year bus subsidy contracts worth almost £3 million have been agreed for a range of services serving the Romsey, Totton and Waterside areas.
The County Council subsidises a small proportion (15%) of bus journeys in Hampshire - this is where bus companies are paid to provide services that are not commercially viable and would not otherwise be run. Around 8,700 journeys are made by Hampshire residents each week day on these subsidised services.
The contracts that have been awarded generally maintain the same level of service that is currently provided. Some services will however will be subject to changes by the bus operator. Furthermore, owing to a decision by First to operate Service 11 from Hythe to Southampton as an hourly commercial service, a County Council subsidy for the current service 8 is no longer necessary, and this subsidy will be withdrawn from 4 November.
Councillor Mel Kendal, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: "In awarding these new contracts, we aim to ensure that transport services continue to support access for work, education, retail and health services for the widest section of the community, while achieving value for money. We have sought to retain the existing network of services where possible, even if that means a lower frequency of some bus services.
"We have had to look at bus subsidies against a background of reduced funding from the Government as well as a reduction in the rural bus subsidy grant. Our aim is to protect services in rural areas as far as possible, which we are doing by working with bus operators and local people to find ways of ensuring that communities are not left dependent on the private car."
View the report considered by Councillor Kendal at the Environment and Transport Decision Day on 11 September.
The report includes details of the services that will be subsidised under the new contracts which will come into effect on 4 November 2012.