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Give your views on Poole's subsidised bus services

Bus users in Poole are being asked to give their views on proposals to save £100,000 from the council's budget for bus subsidies. 

Borough of Poole has to make further savings of around £11.5 million over the next three years. Last year the council spent £700,000 subsidising bus services in the borough and it is looking to save £200,000 over the next two years from the bus subsidy budget.

The majority of bus routes in Poole are operated commercially without the need for additional financial subsidy. However, services with fewer passengers require financial support to be viable. As the council strives to save money, the provision of some of these subsidised journeys is being reviewed. Potential savings of up to £150,000 have been identified thus far with a view to achieving a target saving of £100,000 next financial year.

The number of people using bus services in the area has been increasing at the fastest rate in the country. This growth has enabled morebus to reduce contract prices on some services with no changes to routes or timetables. This will achieve more than £50,000 towards the £100,000 target which is really good news for users.

Borough of Poole is consulting with local people as it carries out a review of its subsidised local bus services. Six subsidised bus routes have been identified for consideration for change or withdrawal. The routes operate on Monday to Saturday daytime and include services to primary schools.

Councillor Drew Mellor, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Transportation, Borough of Poole, said: "The council has been making good progress to reduce expenditure in the light of unprecedented funding reductions. However, some very difficult decisions remain. We appreciate that bus services are valued by many residents. Negotiations with the bus companies have identified a small number of bus services we are seeking views on reducing or withdrawing. We will also be liaising directly with schools and other organisations that may be affected, but would really encourage all bus users to take part in this survey and give us their views."

The consultation will include on-bus surveys and passengers will also be invited to have their say in writing or via the council’s website poole.gov.uk/bussubsidies by 13 November 2016.

No decisions will be taken until the New Year with any changes being implemented from May 2017 onwards.