Flintshire County Council are to review all subsidised bus services in Deeside
Flintshire County Council are to review all subsidised bus services in Deeside and the wider Flintshire region.
The council have launched an online consultation process and review that could see changes to key services in Deeside, including the shuttle service
From 1st April 2013, Welsh Government has made changes to the way it subsidises bus services and community transport in Wales, which has meant a cut in bus grant funding across Wales from £33m to £25m per annum, leaving a £224,000 hole in Flintshire CC funding for bus services.
As a result of the changes, the Council said it was committed to undertake a fundamental review of its subsidised bus services during the financial year 2012/13 in order to determine the future level of support
Some routes servicing vital locations such as Deeside Community hospital, are under review, for many people buses are the only means of transport to visit sick relatives in hospital, routes that service vital employment areas such as Deeside industrial park are also under review.
As well as the Deeside shuttle other routes deemed too costly to maintain or in need of review are the #7 & #7x Mold -Deeside College, the #13 Sunday service through Broughton, the #10 Sunday evening service Connahs Quay to Chester the #110 Aston -Mold
The council have stressed there are no proposals to cut peak time journeys that carry learners for school or workers, however many of those who are employed within key employment areas work late or early morning shifts, there will undoubtedly be potential disruption to many commuters, and may make jobs within areas under review less accessible to those relying on buses for transport.
The consultation affects contracted services only, bus services that are not mentioned operate commercially, and are outside the direct control of the County Council and therefore outside the scope of this consultation.
A full list of services can be found here Flintshire Bus Services those markedSubsidised are all under review.
The review assesses services in a “traffic light” format, with green being a cost effective service, amber requiring some form of further review and possible discussion with the bus operator and red being a service which is not cost effective to run in its current form. You can view the document here Review
The consultation process will take place between 12th August to 11th October 2013 you can access the online questionnaire.
Bus Services Questionnaire (new window)
All the consultation responses will be collated into a report for the Council’s Cabinet to consider at its meeting in December 2013. If you would like clarification of any information on the website or if you wish to request a printed version of the questionnaire please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also take part in this consultation by attending one of the drop-in “bus surgeries” planned for September 2013. This is organised by Bus Users UK Cymru and further details including times and venues will be published on the Flintshire website and on posters on local bus services.
Consultation: 12th August to 11th October 2013
Assessment 14th October to 31st October 2013
Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee: 13th November 2013
Cabinet approval: 17th December 2013
Agreement & Notice to Contractors: December 2013
Tendering: January and February 2014
Notice to the Traffic Commissioner: 19th February 2014
Implementation: April 2014
What are the proposals?
Appendix 3 details the draft recommendations and potential changes to bus services. Consultees are asked to consider the merits of each recommendation, if they wish, giving their views. It would be helpful if consultees could give reasons and evidence to support their views.
Please note that this consultation affects contracts only. Bus services that are not mentioned operate commercially, and are outside the direct control of the County Council and therefore outside the scope of this consultation.
The current services have all been assessed in accordance with the Council’s
Policy for Subsidised Bus Services in Flintshire shown in Appendix 2, which has resulted in the draft recommendations set out in the matrix shown in Appendix 3.
It is important that this review is conducted in light of an agreed set of criteria, which could be used consistently and objectively, to determine and prioritise the level of Council intervention.
Generally, the best barometer of effectiveness is by subsidy per passenger.
This is calculated by dividing the annual cost to the public purse by the total number of passengers. The key principle of intervention would be that, for services where the subsidy per trip exceeds a specific level, a detailed review would be undertaken and remedial action taken.
The review assesses services in a traffic light RAG format (Red, Amber, Green); with Green being a cost effective service, Amber requiring some form of further review and possible discussion with the bus operator and Red being a service which is not cost effective to run in its current form.
It should be recognised that in exceptional cases, the cost per passenger alone will not necessarily determine whether a service should be subsidised or withdrawn. Consequently, services have also been analysed against the passenger travel needs outlined below.
Accessibility – Bus service provides access to key essential services e.g. health, education, shopping and reduces social exclusion
Economic Regeneration – Bus service provides access to main employment areas and supports economic regeneration by providing a way for business to access the workforce they need
Integration – Bus service integrates well with other modes of transport and provides connections with other main bus services
Sustainability – Bus service provides an attractive alternative to the private car & contributes towards reducing the numbers of cars on the road and reducing carbon dioxide emissions
Safety & Security – Bus service provides a safer mode of transport than the private car, both for passengers and for other road users and pedestrians e.g. school journeys
Note: There are no proposals to cut peak time journeys that carry learners for school or workers. This is to protect employment and education. Consultees may either agree or disagree with this view.
- Appendix 1 (PDF 22KB new window)
- Appendix 2 (PDF 75KB new window)
- Appendix 3 (PDF 55KB new window)
- Appendix 4 (PDF 17KB new window)
- Appendix 5 (PDF 51KB new window)