Vote for Somerset buses
There’s just a couple of days left until the local elections in Somerset. The election on Thursday 5 May is a chance to get local politicians to say what they’ll do about our bus service. Somerset Bus Partnership is urging residents to quiz candidates on the issue. Here in Somerset we have some of the worst figures for bus usage in the country.
And it is not likely to get better any time soon. Last October, Somerset County Council, whilst saying the County would not increase its own funding of buses, submitted a bid to the Department for Transport asking for £163 millions of Government funding. The Government has now said Somerset is only going to receive 7% of what Somerset had wanted.
It leaves the county with a major problem. Declaring a climate emergency was easy. Doing something about it much harder. The challenge in a rural county, to get people out of their cars, is a tricky one. Especially without decent regular bus services and co-ordinated links to other transport services (trains, planes etc).
The Somerset Bus Partnership is pushing a plan for the future of buses. That includes meaningful funding, promoting and improving services, an integrated network and affordable services. You can read it/download it below.
The problem is unlikely to be getting politicians to agree to the plan before the election. It is getting them to deliver on their promises afterwards.
There will be a full article on the state of our buses in the May edition of The Leveller®.