Changing bus timetables and services

04 February 2016

We all build our lives around the predictability (or not) of whichever mode of transport we are using. So, when changes are mooted it is very important to consult those affected – their lives could literally be affected as a result.

This is very true of bus services. Many bus passengers do not have access to a car and few will have a rail option. Both operators and local authorities outside of London consult on changes to ‘commercial’ and ‘tendered’ services.

Tendered services are ‘lifeline’ services by definition so changes need careful thought. As local authority budgets come under increased pressure there are lots of moves to alter or cut tendered services. Not always a bad outcome – a rational look at what is provided can be useful in focusing resource where it is most needed.

However, it can result in real problems for some. We researched what happens to those ‘disappeared’ passengers some time ago, you can read more about it here.

The cumulative effect of the contraction of choice in travel makes compelling reading – quality life suffers.

Consultation can be done well. Good to see First in Bristol taking it seriously.

And it’s good to see Surrey County Council also making the effort.

Not so good seeing Dorset County Council seemingly cutting it tight with a four week consultation period.

Of course even good quality consultation can result in bus cuts but at least, in a difficult funding environment, passengers can have a say, make some plans and think how they might live differently. We are looking at refreshing and refocusing our work in this area, including talking to some of the decision makers, click here to find out more.

Very difficult times for some transport users…

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