B&NES agrees extra £100,000 for bus services

Bath and North East Somerset Council has agreed to Conservative calls for extra funding to support local bus services.

As part of the authority’s budget plans for the next financial year, Bath and North East Somerset Council has agreed to put an extra £100,000 into bus service subsidies, with a particular emphasis on ensuring new housing developments are served by a bus service.

The funding has been included after a proposal was put forward by Conservatives when the Council’s budget plans were discussed by the authority’s Resources Scrutiny Panel last Monday, 10th February.

Conservatives have welcomed the extra investment, which they have said could be used both to provide additional bus services to new housing developments and improve and extend existing services.

However, during the same Council meeting, a further Conservative proposal to create a £150,000 fund to support new Community Bus Services was blocked by Liberal Democrat and Labour councillors.

Conservative Shadow transport spokesman, Cllr Anthony Clarke, said:

“It’s really good news that B&NES has agreed to the Conservative proposal for more money to be put into supporting local bus services.

“The idea behind this extra funding is to ensure that new housing developments in the area are served by public transport to try and mitigate the impact of traffic on the local community.  However, this will of course also benefit existing residents who will also be able to use these bus services.”

Commenting on the proposals for Community Bus Services, Cllr Clarke added:

“We are disappointed though that our idea of creating a fund to support more Community Bus Services was blocked by Labour and Lib Dem councillors.

“Community buses are a sustainable solution to improving local transport and should be given more support.  They help local communities to set up not-for-profit bus services to meet particular local needs.  There are already good examples of this where buses help older to people to be more independent and children to get to school, and we’d like to see more of them.  This idea though isn’t dead and we will continue to press the Council to do more on this in future.”