8 June 2015
Exeter Green Party has today welcomed overwhelming public opposition to Devon County Council’s proposed £1.7m bus cuts. The Council received some 2,600 questionnaire responses, numerous letters and petitions, of which one of the largest was organised by Exeter Green Party, backed by 379 people. The result of this popular campaign has been a reduction to some of the proposed cuts.
Green Party spokesperson, Isaac Price-Sosner, said:
“We’ve seen a brake on some of the service cuts, but the revised plans will still have a significant impact on communities, affecting 170,000 passenger journeys across Devon and here in Exeter. It’s a great relief the cut to the evening service for the P bus is no longer proposed. But other services in Exeter are still affected. We are especially concerned the Council plans to continue slashing school bus services, such as the one which takes children to the Stoke Hill schools, and other City service reductions will potentially add to congestion in Exeter.”
Exeter Green Party has campaigned hard against the cuts to City services. Campaigners welcome the news that the P evening service is now proposed for continuation and that free concessionary travel after 11pm at night will continue.
However, the proposals will see reductions across the City. These include a proposal to reduce the frequency of the D service during University vacations. However, Stagecoach have now agreed to operate a half-hourly frequency on Saturday’s on a commercial basis.
Plans to withdraw the T service from Countess Wear to Topsham Quay have been changed to recommend a shopping-time service (0930 out; 1230 back from City Centre) on an interim basis. The U service is proposed to be reduced to three journeys giving a morning shopping service and the M to retain two journeys. The Council hopes a community transport replacement service will be developed for the T and the U/M services.
Speaking about the cuts Green Party representative, Diana Moore said:
“These proposed cuts are a result of the austerity measures already proposed by the last Government. It is deeply worrying that the new Tory Government has already begun a further assault on funding to Local Authorities which will have the greatest impact on the most vulnerable. Devon County Council’s report on the revised cuts itself shows how older people, young people and people with disabilities really rely on such services. The Council has acknowledged that reducing bus services will increase traffic levels and carbon emissions. As Exeter grows we need investment in our transport infrastructure, not cuts, so we can reduce congestion and address the City’s ongoing pollution problem."
The revised proposals will be considered at a meeting of the Devon County Council Cabinet meeting on 15th June at 10:30 am at County Hall.
Place Scrutiny Committee: 2pm 17th June
Cabinet Meeting Wednesday 8th July 10:30
The report to DCC Cabinet and consultation responses can be seen at https://new.devon.gov.uk/publictransportbudget/
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