Plans to raise bus fares will 'impact on local economy'

CLLR Justine Baker says an increase in bus fares would isolate the people of West Somerset further. PHOTO: Submitted.

CLLR Justine Baker says an increase in bus fares would isolate the people of West Somerset further. PHOTO: Submitted.

First published in News This is The West Country: Photograph of the Author by

NOT only could bus users in West Somerset be losing out on services but they could also end up paying more for their tickets.

At a council meeting last week, Somerset County councillors considered plans to increase fares by 15% as a result of rising costs for bus operators. Justine Baker, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for West Somerset and Bridgwater, has been campaigning to make sure more bus cuts don’t go ahead.

She said: “Bus cuts have impacted massively in West Somerset with many rural villages now having a very reduced service or no service at all.

“Bus cuts have meant that those people who rely on them for college or work are now stranded but Somerset County Council is also now looking at increasing the fares of the services that are left, raising them by 15%.

“Again this huge rise is unacceptable; many other bus services are raising fares by 6% but this is double even that.

“I know of people who are now unable to get to work and are worried about losing their jobs because of this, meaning such bus cuts will have an impact on the local economy.

“Public transport should be increased, not reduced, especially in areas like Bridgwater and West Somerset.”

At the meeting, Cllr Leigh Redman (Labour) said: “Bus operators have increased their costs by 6%, not a 15% increase, and we should sit down and talk with them about it.”

The county council is currently carrying out a transport survey to find out how often people use bus services. 

To complete the survey visit www.somerset.gov.uk/transportsu rvey or to request a paper copy, phone 08453-459155. The consultation period ends on Sunday (February 9).

Comments (2)

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6:23pm Thu 6 Feb 14

DaymoI says...

When will the powers that be come to realise that if they REDUCE the ticket price to encourage people to use the services (and have less empty seats on each vehicle) that their profits will start going INCREASING?
The people at the top really need to get some common sense!
When will the powers that be come to realise that if they REDUCE the ticket price to encourage people to use the services (and have less empty seats on each vehicle) that their profits will start going INCREASING? The people at the top really need to get some common sense! DaymoI
  • Score: 3

2:25pm Sun 9 Feb 14

wastedcash says...

The County Council only set the fares on a tiny number of services that they fully fund, such as the "White Elephant" Park and Ride in Taunton. They have no influence whatsoever on Bus Fares on commercial services or those that they subsidise. This is a non story, and the usual rubbish that the Gazette publish without checking or understanding the facts.
The County Council only set the fares on a tiny number of services that they fully fund, such as the "White Elephant" Park and Ride in Taunton. They have no influence whatsoever on Bus Fares on commercial services or those that they subsidise. This is a non story, and the usual rubbish that the Gazette publish without checking or understanding the facts. wastedcash
  • Score: 0

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