Petition – No 18 Bus Service Bordon-Haslemere
Response from Hampshire County Council, July 2012
Cllr Ferris Cowper brought local concerns regarding the 18 bus service between Bordon and Haslemere to my attention and I have asked to be kept fully informed since that time. Hampshire County Council staff carried out detailed survey of the section of route affected was undertaken which showed that the hourly service catered for some 100,000 passenger journeys a year and that within Hampshire it formed the only public transport link for the local communities in Grayshott, Headley and Lindford.
I advised Cllr Cowper that I believed that Hampshire County Council, not having previously subsidised that route, had a responsibility to ensure, as far as we could, the continuation of the route which serves people in the north of the County and that to enable this, we are prepared to assist the Economy, Transport and Environment department with funding from our corporate policy reserve, which would then become a recurring element within the 2013/2014 budget.
Once the bus company announced that they would cease running this section of the route from September, officers undertook negotiations with Stagecoach to enable an emergency contract to be set up and thereby ensure uninterrupted continuation of the service from September whilst tenders are invited for a longer term contract. A report will go to the Executive Member for Environment and Transport for a formal decision at the Decision Day on 24 July 2012.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond. I hope that you are reassured that the funding that I have made available and the actions to put an emergency contract in place will ensure the continuation of this valuable service.
Councillor Melville Kendal
Executive Member for Environment and Transport