The outcome of a major review of council subsidies for bus services in Poole has been announced.
The review included a six week public consultation regarding six routes to which more than 650 people responded. A further 1,067 bus passengers on the potentially affected routes were also asked for their views.
Following detailed analysis of the results and discussions between the bus operators and Borough of Poole’s Route & Branch Working Group, a saving of more than £100,000 a year has been achieved with relatively few passengers affected.
The main change is the withdrawal of the morebus 128 route that operates between Poole and Upton. This service is partially replaced with an amended hourly 10 route.
The Fern Barrow loop on the Yellow Buses 26 service (now renumbered U9) is withdrawn as are the last two journeys on the Yellow Buses 18 Broadstone loop. The Yellow Buses 20 route will retain its hourly service but will only operate between Poole and Bournemouth town centre. Passengers wishing to travel onwards to Castlepoint will need to change buses.
The other changes are fares increases on two school bus services – the 445 that operates between Bearwood, Merley and Allenbourn School and the 744 that operates between Poole and Oakdale Junior School. It had originally been proposed to withdraw these services.
More than £52,000 has been achieved through negotiated contract price reductions with morebus with no changes to timetables.
Most bus routes in Poole operate without subsidy. However, some evening and weekend services, plus those operating away from the main roads, require financial support to be viable.
Cllr Drew Mellor, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Transportation, Borough of Poole, said: “I would like to thank everyone who took the time to respond to the consultation. It is important for the council to understand how decisions about bus subsidy can impact on passengers. I am also grateful to bus operators who have co-operated fully with this review to achieve the required savings.”
The bus service changes will be introduced in May 2017. The changes to the fares on the school services will be from the start of the Summer Term.