Spend more promoting public transport in Worcestershire, says councillor

Worcester News: The launch of the park and ride service at Sixways - which is now under threat The launch of the park and ride service at Sixways - which is now under threat

MORE taxpayers’ money should be spent on promoting public transport, according to a Worcestershire politician.

Councillor Matthew Jenkins, from the Green Party, says he fears that services like Worcester’s park and rides are in great danger unless they are looked at more positively.

He says Worcestershire County Council’s Conservative leadership must start to look at the current public transport network as an asset, rather than a liability.

It comes after the council revealed plans to scrap a £3 million public transport subsidy from September, putting 88 bus services and park and rides at Persdiswell and Sixways at risk.

On the Perdiswell park and ride service 340,000 journeys are now made a year compared to 450,000 back in 2008.

Coun Jenkins said: “The figures show people are out there but if you put them off using the service, they won’t come back.

“There are a lot more potential customers out there but we’ve got to tempt them back into it again.

“It’s the council’s responsibility to not only provide an over-arching vision for how people travel, but encourage them to use public transport.

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“My concern is that if we don’t promote the benefits of it, other people won’t – pollution from cars is a major cause of pollution and illness.

“If we don’t worry about this nobody else will.”

The council is under huge financial pressure and needs to slash £98 million from spending by 2017, including well over 600 job losses.

It includes ending the public transport funding, in the hope private operators can take on both park and ride sites in Worcester and some of the subsidised routes.

If routes can be saved it is likely to mean higher fares, less frequent services, or both.

Councillor John Smith, the cabinet member responsible for highways and transportation, said: “We don’t want anything to go, we just have to make them commercially viable and they’ve got to be used by the public.

“What he says may well be true but we’ve got to make a decision.”


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Comments (10)

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9:28am Mon 6 Jan 14

badge73 says...

typical politician, spending other peoples money and expect us to pay for it.
typical politician, spending other peoples money and expect us to pay for it. badge73

9:31am Mon 6 Jan 14

CJH says...

One thing wrong with this suggestion: most of us are just not interested in using public transport. I want to have the freedom and independence to come and go as I please, not at the behest of bus or train timetables. I want to leave from my own front door, and then return here again. I want to be able to divert my journey to see my mother, or go shopping, or just have a nice little drive around the countryside. Yes, something needs to be done about car pollution. Get the road structure right and people won't be stuck, with their engines running, in constant traffic jams or bottlenecks. I actually tried to plan a journey for someone a couple of days ago. Just a short bus ride. Easy? Could the council and bus companies make the timetables and bus routes any more complicated? I don't think so.
One thing wrong with this suggestion: most of us are just not interested in using public transport. I want to have the freedom and independence to come and go as I please, not at the behest of bus or train timetables. I want to leave from my own front door, and then return here again. I want to be able to divert my journey to see my mother, or go shopping, or just have a nice little drive around the countryside. Yes, something needs to be done about car pollution. Get the road structure right and people won't be stuck, with their engines running, in constant traffic jams or bottlenecks. I actually tried to plan a journey for someone a couple of days ago. Just a short bus ride. Easy? Could the council and bus companies make the timetables and bus routes any more complicated? I don't think so. CJH

10:04am Mon 6 Jan 14

Wagtail59 says...

Message for all local councillors and MP's, Please be aware that there are thousands of people in Worcestershire who do not drive a car or have access to a car. The cost of taxi fares in many cases is prohibitive. The notion that subsidised services can all be replaced on a commercial basis is at best a pipe dream. There is a real possibility that some people will be forced to go and live in the West Midlands conurbation simply because they can no longer get around to conduct their daily business. It makes me really angry when billions of pounds can be found to extend airports, build new roads, not to mention the bottomless money pit that is HS2. Subsidised bus services are paid for out of public taxes, some at least must be retained.
Message for all local councillors and MP's, Please be aware that there are thousands of people in Worcestershire who do not drive a car or have access to a car. The cost of taxi fares in many cases is prohibitive. The notion that subsidised services can all be replaced on a commercial basis is at best a pipe dream. There is a real possibility that some people will be forced to go and live in the West Midlands conurbation simply because they can no longer get around to conduct their daily business. It makes me really angry when billions of pounds can be found to extend airports, build new roads, not to mention the bottomless money pit that is HS2. Subsidised bus services are paid for out of public taxes, some at least must be retained. Wagtail59

10:25am Mon 6 Jan 14

badge73 says...

Wagtail59 wrote:
Message for all local councillors and MP's, Please be aware that there are thousands of people in Worcestershire who do not drive a car or have access to a car. The cost of taxi fares in many cases is prohibitive. The notion that subsidised services can all be replaced on a commercial basis is at best a pipe dream. There is a real possibility that some people will be forced to go and live in the West Midlands conurbation simply because they can no longer get around to conduct their daily business. It makes me really angry when billions of pounds can be found to extend airports, build new roads, not to mention the bottomless money pit that is HS2. Subsidised bus services are paid for out of public taxes, some at least must be retained.
new roads? i suppose buses float do they?
[quote][p][bold]Wagtail59[/bold] wrote: Message for all local councillors and MP's, Please be aware that there are thousands of people in Worcestershire who do not drive a car or have access to a car. The cost of taxi fares in many cases is prohibitive. The notion that subsidised services can all be replaced on a commercial basis is at best a pipe dream. There is a real possibility that some people will be forced to go and live in the West Midlands conurbation simply because they can no longer get around to conduct their daily business. It makes me really angry when billions of pounds can be found to extend airports, build new roads, not to mention the bottomless money pit that is HS2. Subsidised bus services are paid for out of public taxes, some at least must be retained.[/p][/quote]new roads? i suppose buses float do they? badge73

10:28am Mon 6 Jan 14

liketoknow says...

Wagtail59 wrote:
Message for all local councillors and MP's, Please be aware that there are thousands of people in Worcestershire who do not drive a car or have access to a car. The cost of taxi fares in many cases is prohibitive. The notion that subsidised services can all be replaced on a commercial basis is at best a pipe dream. There is a real possibility that some people will be forced to go and live in the West Midlands conurbation simply because they can no longer get around to conduct their daily business. It makes me really angry when billions of pounds can be found to extend airports, build new roads, not to mention the bottomless money pit that is HS2. Subsidised bus services are paid for out of public taxes, some at least must be retained.
.that's what happens when you privatise essential services. makes a lot of money for the few at the expense of the consumer.
[quote][p][bold]Wagtail59[/bold] wrote: Message for all local councillors and MP's, Please be aware that there are thousands of people in Worcestershire who do not drive a car or have access to a car. The cost of taxi fares in many cases is prohibitive. The notion that subsidised services can all be replaced on a commercial basis is at best a pipe dream. There is a real possibility that some people will be forced to go and live in the West Midlands conurbation simply because they can no longer get around to conduct their daily business. It makes me really angry when billions of pounds can be found to extend airports, build new roads, not to mention the bottomless money pit that is HS2. Subsidised bus services are paid for out of public taxes, some at least must be retained.[/p][/quote].that's what happens when you privatise essential services. makes a lot of money for the few at the expense of the consumer. liketoknow

10:32am Mon 6 Jan 14

CJH says...

badge73 wrote:
Wagtail59 wrote:
Message for all local councillors and MP's, Please be aware that there are thousands of people in Worcestershire who do not drive a car or have access to a car. The cost of taxi fares in many cases is prohibitive. The notion that subsidised services can all be replaced on a commercial basis is at best a pipe dream. There is a real possibility that some people will be forced to go and live in the West Midlands conurbation simply because they can no longer get around to conduct their daily business. It makes me really angry when billions of pounds can be found to extend airports, build new roads, not to mention the bottomless money pit that is HS2. Subsidised bus services are paid for out of public taxes, some at least must be retained.
new roads? i suppose buses float do they?
Well buses are magical - they seem to disappear completely as soon as bus lanes are built!
[quote][p][bold]badge73[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Wagtail59[/bold] wrote: Message for all local councillors and MP's, Please be aware that there are thousands of people in Worcestershire who do not drive a car or have access to a car. The cost of taxi fares in many cases is prohibitive. The notion that subsidised services can all be replaced on a commercial basis is at best a pipe dream. There is a real possibility that some people will be forced to go and live in the West Midlands conurbation simply because they can no longer get around to conduct their daily business. It makes me really angry when billions of pounds can be found to extend airports, build new roads, not to mention the bottomless money pit that is HS2. Subsidised bus services are paid for out of public taxes, some at least must be retained.[/p][/quote]new roads? i suppose buses float do they?[/p][/quote]Well buses are magical - they seem to disappear completely as soon as bus lanes are built! CJH

10:41am Mon 6 Jan 14

3thinker says...

I understand why many who have access to a car may not want to spend money on subsidising or promoting public transport. The problem is that large sections of the community don't have access to a car. 56% of the 18-24 year olds don't have a driving licence, let alone a car and this figure is increasing. We have an ageing population many of who can no longer drive or relied on a now deceased partner to drive them around.
There's a lot said on these pages that appears to stereotype the majority of unemployed as scroungers. Yet how can they get to work or afford to pay a large slice of their minimum wage on transport costs if they don't have access to transport. Employers too need access to a workforce if they are to grow, prosper and provide the goods and services we all need.
I'm sure savings can be made and fares increased to sustain some of the services, but I do think the bigger picture needs to be considered when considering the broader benefits of having a well functioning public transport system.
After all, the vast majority of us will be without access to a car at some stage in our life.
If more used public transport would it not also help to alleviate the traffic congestion and parking problems that many see as a major problem in "The Faithful City'?
I understand why many who have access to a car may not want to spend money on subsidising or promoting public transport. The problem is that large sections of the community don't have access to a car. 56% of the 18-24 year olds don't have a driving licence, let alone a car and this figure is increasing. We have an ageing population many of who can no longer drive or relied on a now deceased partner to drive them around. There's a lot said on these pages that appears to stereotype the majority of unemployed as scroungers. Yet how can they get to work or afford to pay a large slice of their minimum wage on transport costs if they don't have access to transport. Employers too need access to a workforce if they are to grow, prosper and provide the goods and services we all need. I'm sure savings can be made and fares increased to sustain some of the services, but I do think the bigger picture needs to be considered when considering the broader benefits of having a well functioning public transport system. After all, the vast majority of us will be without access to a car at some stage in our life. If more used public transport would it not also help to alleviate the traffic congestion and parking problems that many see as a major problem in "The Faithful City'? 3thinker

2:34pm Mon 6 Jan 14

jb says...

I can't see the point in putting money into promoting the bus service when we anyone that needs it uses it and we all know it exists if we want to use it. I wonder where this councillor thinks this funding will be coming from?
I can't see the point in putting money into promoting the bus service when we anyone that needs it uses it and we all know it exists if we want to use it. I wonder where this councillor thinks this funding will be coming from? jb

6:42pm Mon 6 Jan 14

Landy44 says...

jb wrote:
I can't see the point in putting money into promoting the bus service when we anyone that needs it uses it and we all know it exists if we want to use it. I wonder where this councillor thinks this funding will be coming from?
Completely agree!

Councils and central government need to stop "promoting" and "advertising" and get on with "delivering" and "saving".
[quote][p][bold]jb[/bold] wrote: I can't see the point in putting money into promoting the bus service when we anyone that needs it uses it and we all know it exists if we want to use it. I wonder where this councillor thinks this funding will be coming from?[/p][/quote]Completely agree! Councils and central government need to stop "promoting" and "advertising" and get on with "delivering" and "saving". Landy44

1:30pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Hwicce says...

If you need to "promote" something then it is either new or there is something wrong with it.

In the case of public transport it is not new, we all know it exists and where it is, we just don't want to use it because it doesn't do what we want. No amount of "promoting" is going to change that.

They would do a lot better to invest the money in things that would make a difference.

How about the electonic signs on stops that tell you when the next bus is coming? At leat you know whetehr it is worth waiting.

How about improving the ring road(s) and getting the through traffic out of the City in the first place. That would benefit everybody.
If you need to "promote" something then it is either new or there is something wrong with it. In the case of public transport it is not new, we all know it exists and where it is, we just don't want to use it because it doesn't do what we want. No amount of "promoting" is going to change that. They would do a lot better to invest the money in things that would make a difference. How about the electonic signs on stops that tell you when the next bus is coming? At leat you know whetehr it is worth waiting. How about improving the ring road(s) and getting the through traffic out of the City in the first place. That would benefit everybody. Hwicce

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