Transport Under Threat

by Gerry Lynch last modified 21 Jan, 2016 12:39 PM

Bishop of Ramsbury Calls on Local Residents to Engage With Council Bus Consultations

The Right Revd Dr Edward Condry, Bishop of Ramsbury, has called for people, especially in rural communities, to engage with Wiltshire Council’s consultation on bus services. A similar consultation (details below) is also running in Dorset.

Wiltshire Council subsidises many rural bus services, and with it being forced to find millions in savings over the next three years, at least some services are facing the axe.

Bishop Ed said, “We appreciate that councils are facing another significant cut to their block grant from central government from April, which means cuts in services are inevitable. We wish to work with Wiltshire Council to help them make difficult decisions in the most appropriate and least damaging way.

“The Council itself has acknowledged that those most vulnerable to cuts in rural public transport are the elderly, the disabled and the young.

“It has been recognised for some years now that people on low incomes in the countryside face problems and costs unknown in urban areas. In particular, people who cannot afford to run a car in rural areas can face losing their job or being unable to escape unemployment if public transport services are axed.

“For all those reasons it is important that people engage with the consultation to enable hard choices to be made with the minimum possible consequences.

“The Church of England is the only institution with a presence in every village in the county. Our congregations have, therefore, a particularly important part to play.”

Wiltshire Council’s bus service consultation can be found at http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/news/articles/bus-service-consultation. Closing date is 4 April.

The Dorset consultation has a much tighter closing date of 8 February and can be found here: https://consultationtracker.dorsetforyou.com/00%2cconsultation%2c12145%2c330%2c00.htm.

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