The public transport consultation is now closed.
The results are being analysed and will be added to the website in due course.
Below you will find comments left on this page during the consultation.
We write to you on behalf of the Totnes and District Traffic and Transport Forum to give you our views on the recent cuts in bus subsidy. Subsidies in Devon have been almost halved in real terms since 2011. The forum is particularly concerned at their cumulative effect. We believe the cuts should have been made to other areas where the consequences would be less serious. It is also regrettable that we were not given the chance to comment before cuts were decided.
Members will be only too well aware of the problems, political, social, environmental and economic, caused by the congestion in and around Totnes, particularly in the A385 corridor. The withdrawal and alteration to services which cater for travel to; schools, hospitals, health care and employment, will add to the congestion. The cuts will increase the cost of support for services such as Care in the Community, Education and Employment and will cause additional hardship for users of those services.
We also think the cuts could affect the future of Totnes as a market town and make sustainable development difficult, both on the outskirts of our town and in the surrounding 13 districts which depend on having good access to Totnes and its rail links. The use of Public Transport has increased over the last 10 years, but not in rural areas, despite the loss of the village shop, the pub and the surgery.
To quote from the County Councils’ excellent document “The Value of Bus Services in Devon – Summary of Evidence” “Bus travel is the dominant Active Travel mode of all journeys greater than 6 miles” “Withdrawing public transport is much more than just a withdrawal of a service – likely to profoundly affecting people’s lives adversely in a way that many other service withdrawals do not, by denying access to many services, jobs and independence”. “58% (of bus passengers) had no alternative way to make the journey if the service was cut……. and their ability to reach health care becomes progressively more difficult” “Transport Poverty is more significant than Fuel Poverty” “Even when assessing tangible benefits only, council spend on public transport provides a Benefit: Cost Ratio (BCR) greater than 2.4”
We expect the true cost of the cuts to exceed any short term savings made.
We therefore ask the Council to; withdraw the cuts already agreed; not make the further cuts proposed; increase the funds for community transport – including more backing for expanding successful services like “Bob The Bus” (TARCBA) and “ring and ride”; find sources of longer term funding – including from the private sector and through enterprise schemes; promote innovation such as; the community taxi, real time information aps, Uber, Car Clubs and the like.
As to the details – it is in the nature of the ridership to suffer and not to protest – making it difficult to rank the proposed changes in order of importance. The removal of the 149 service to KEVICS and Torbay Hospital follows the loss of the link from Dartmouth although it is claimed that a new sevice would replace this. The revisions to service 165 which in effect removes a school time am service, The withdrawal of two early morning 164 services on Saturdays. The almost complete withdrawal of the 91 service. Withdrawal of the X64 Sunday Exeter-Dartmouth service. The change of route for the Gold service through Bridgetown has also drawn protest and ignores the needs of the new developments taking place in the immediate vicinity of the old route.
While regretting the measures taken, we can appreciate your difficulties and would support the County Council in petitioning government for more support for our “transport poor” and for any changes required to tax or the transport regulations.
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