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How important is your local bus service?

11:09 UK time, Thursday, 3 February 2011

A campaign has been launched to save subsidised bus routes after it was found more than two-thirds of councils planned to cut services. Would cuts to local bus services affect you?

Stephen Joseph, chief executive of The Campaign for Better Transport, which is launching the Save our Buses campaign, said the cuts to bus services would hit the poorest and most vulnerable hardest.

However, local and regional transport minister Norman Baker argued that while he accepted the funding settlement was "challenging", most bus services would not be affected.

How important is your local bus route and how often do you use it? Would the proposed cuts affect you? Send us your comments using the form below.

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 7

  • Comment number 1.

    Not been on a bus for 20 years. Last time I used one it cost a fortune and was disgustingly unclean. The ones in Brum are poorly maintained too; many have baldy tyres. I'd rather walk (and frequently do) than have to take a West Midlands bus.

  • Comment number 2.

    if you cannot afford a car it is very important,that is not including those who do not drive! doe's the beeb and "dave" still stand behind the slogan,"we are all in this together"how is the bus route cuts going to effect the rich?it is not! it is, in fact going to make life better for them,by freeing up the roads they will benefit."we are all in this together"is a lie.i call on the condems to take it back.tell the truth!
    you and your ilk are not in this with us the ordinary guy from the council estates and inner citys.we are the ones that are in this the innocent,the rich and the bankers are getting a way with it,that is the truth,if i'm wrong then tell nick or dave to tell me i'm wrong.

  • Comment number 3.

    I'd say it's very important, but I also understand how difficult it can be to travel to a local destination anywhere near the time you need.

    I drive, so I can chose what time to travel, but my wife doesn't drive and is currently at university, which is 8 miles from where we live. She can either catch a bus at 6:30, getting her there at 6:50, or one at 9:30, making her 40 minutes late for her first class. It would be very easy to include this stop on other routes, but it's not profitable enough (student pay less) so the bus company will do nothing. I can see it being scrapped altogether in the future, belying our governmental focus on education.

  • Comment number 4.

    Fine if you live in a city. Waste of time in rural areas like ours. Would take me about 3 hours (3 buses, plus 2 interconnecting walks) to go 16 miles to work, earliest I could arrive 11.20 (usually arrive 7.45!) and latest I could leave around 3.15 (usually leave around 6pm). Can drive it in 25 mins for £1.50 even at today's prices. File under "chocolate fireguard".

  • Comment number 5.

    The nearest bus stop is over a mile away, not easy to carry shopping up the hill home from there - especially when you are not so young. Have not been on a bus in years and I know none of my neighbours have either. So, no, it's not important to me.

  • Comment number 6.

    How important is your local bus service?

    It isn't!!!!!

    Living as I do in remote rural Scotland, our bus service can be described as sparse to non-existent. I live about 11 miles away from my workplace (not by choice I assure you, but because of rural housing problems) and whilst there are buses, none will get me to work on time nor stay long enough for me to catch one to return home.

    So I have no option but to pay the £1.46 per litre for petrol and grin and bear it.

  • Comment number 7.

    The only buses I ever use arent council ones and theyre for long journeys. local ones like park and ride I never use because Its easy for me to walk the distances as they go round in a short loop in the centre of town. But then I'm lucky because Im very healthy and I like to walk. the same is not true of all people. Not that I've heard of any cuts like this locally though so you can't say more at the moment

  • Comment number 8.

    Not at all. I refuse to use public transport - it's inconvenient, rarely on time and overcrowded. I'd rather walk, or stay at home, if I can't afford to drive myself. There needs to be massive investment in it before people will be tempted out of their cars.
    And before the Greens have a go at me, I've cut my CO2 emissions by: Getting a smaller car, driving around 25% fewer miles, turning my central heating down & wearing a jumper, improving the insulation in my home, gradually replacing appliances with energy efficient ones, recycling/composting everything I can, etc.

  • Comment number 9.

    This is a question you shouldn't have to ask. In rural areas, particularly for the elderly and those who don't have their own transport, it's vital. It shouldn't be down to some twonker in a council office to decide whether we have the means to travel. Schools have been closed and centralised, the same with hospitals, local banks have closed, post offices etc. We are supposed to be making moves to abandon cars and go greener yet every which way we turn some overpaid twonker in authority decides cutting services and jobs is the only way to preserve their precious ill gotten bonuses. What's happening in Egypt isn't far from happenig here, we need a cull of the twonkers at the top then everything will be cushty, yu no wot am sayin?

  • Comment number 10.

    What is the governments problem with public transport, and why does it always have to be run as a business rather than a service.

    I do not use the buses on a regular basis, but where I live, the train service is so unreliable that I need to take the bus on certain days. It is a rural service and seldom has more than a few people on it (unless a lot of people have had trouble with the train, in which case it's like sardines!)
    Aren't bus services also supposed to facilitate in removing cars from our roads?
    It seems more to me that the government wants to scrap the bus services where they know people will have no choice but to drive. Which in turn means buying petrol, road tax, insurance and surprise surprise, these are things that government makes a nice tidy sum of money on.
    Clearly the lives of those in rural area mean far less than those that live in say, London. Which is of the only part of England that the government has any interest in!

  • Comment number 11.

    Now ther is a surprise, instead of cutting the thousnads of non-jobs created by NU-labour councils have decided to cut services to the you, the elderly and the vulnerable. Thre is no necessity to cut bus routes. Aren't local and cetral government alwasy bleating we should use public transport to help the environment, when it comes to non-jobs and cuts the necessary services are the first to go. No change there then.

  • Comment number 12.

    The bus service is fairly useless at the moment.
    If there was 10 times as many buses and half the price then it would be a good thing. I can drive to places for much less than the cost of a bus fair.
    It also needs to go on much later at night. If I go to a town 6 miles away, by bus, to visit a pub then I don't want to be forced to leave at 10:15P in order to get the last bus back! 1:30AM would be more like it....

  • Comment number 13.

    Local buses can be very important to many people, especially those that cannot/will not drive. The problem is, it's just not viable to run some services.

    People who depend on buses should be prepared to pay a lot more for the service if they wish to keep it.

    I drive and use a bus very rarely so personally I'm not affected, however it would be a shame for the service to cease to exist but if it's not financially viable, what can they do??

  • Comment number 14.

    I frequently travel around the Yorkshire Dales using the heavily subsidised Dalesbus services. Whilst I would be willing to pay more for this marvellous service I appreciate that the few other users of the service probably can't. However, the subsidy could be covered ten times over if the Council were to charge all those pesky cyclists and bikers for coming into the Dales and cluttering up the place with their cycles and motorbikes!

  • Comment number 15.

    The bus 'service' is very important for the many rural communities in Devon & these are the first routes to be cut because, as usual, councillors know the cost of everything but the value of nothing. In Devon there are currently proposals to cut the school bus service because it's not making enough profit. It's disgusting that, yet again, the most vulnerable are having to go without due to the excesses of the government. Many people that live in the rural villages are not second home owners with lots of money, they're usually elderly people who have lived all of their lives in the villages who have seen their local post offices, shops & schools closed & have been forced to go in to the town to do their business. We're not 'all in this together', some of us are more 'in it' than others.

  • Comment number 16.

    well to get to work for me it breaks down like thi

    drive to work :15 min by car
    2 trains to work : 1 hour 5 min
    bus: 3-4 bus's and over and hour

    and were literally talking a straight line north here probably 18 miles max

    oh and all of these are increasing in price the only one that offer's a comfy clean on time ride is my own car.

  • Comment number 17.

    There'll be a lot of responses suggesting buses aren't important. I'd like to disagree.

    They may not be important for people who can afford to run a car, but lots of people rely on them (and trains) to get around. With petrol prices booming, insurance booming and salaries stagnant - presuming you're lucky enough to keep your job, then public transport becomes a much more viable alternative than relying on a car.

    In a time when the coalition Government is suggesting that our economy will improve via manufacturing and green technology, surely we must be investing in public transport?

    I can understand why people think some routes are dirty, inconvenient and expensive, but the answer to that is to invest and improve rather than to cut and be done with it.

  • Comment number 18.

    I USED TO LIVE I A RURAL AREA WITH ONE BUS A WEEK THIS WAS A GODSEND FOR SOME VILLAGERS IT APPEARS THIS GOVERMENT IS FULL OF CONTRADICTIONS ,THEY SAY THEY ARE GREEN YET THEY ARE FORCING PEOPLE TO USE A CAR THATS IF THEY HAVE ONE, OR IS IT GET ON YOUR BIKE ,WHICH MOST ELDERLY RESIDENTS WOULD BE UNABLE TO DO,WHAT WITH OTHER CUTS FAR TO DEEP TO QUICK ,IM SURE THIS GOVERMENT DOES NOT HAVE A MAJORITY MANDATE, FOR WHAT THEY ARE DOING CUTS YES BUT IN THE RIGHT PLACES THAT WOULD GET A MAJORITY SUPPORT ,EVEN THE NON POOR WILL BE AGAINST A LOT OF THESE CUTS

  • Comment number 19.

    Buses are not important to me - however they are heavily used by those which this government is determined to neglect - namely the young and the elderly.

  • Comment number 20.

    Another tool that will rid rural communities of the less affluent, what if house prices out of reach years ago, this should insure the final solution to economically cleanse rural communities, another 20 odd years and you will be hard pushed to go to a rural part of the country and hear an original local accent. Still we are all in this together.

  • Comment number 21.

    Chopping local bus services?

    Just another on last nights stupid-vindictive-cuts list, which included local swimming pools (used by the disabled) and a couple of libraries.

    Ah - I see "Cheese And Biscuits" has just posted - must be time for lunch....

  • Comment number 22.

    Public transport is indeed rubbish, and I live in London: heaven knows how bad it is in rural areas!
    However, as a non-driver, it's my only option. It takes over an hour and a half for me to visit my mother in law by public transport, yet it is a 20 minute drive by car.

    I thought the government was trying to dissuade us from using cars? This doesn't seem to me to be the right way of going about it...

  • Comment number 23.

    Public transport will be cut by the Tories as it always is when they get in power. I was thinking only the other day about my bus route, as a child we had 3 buses a day, now we have 1 every 2 hours, but it's subsidised, so it will be for the scrap heap. The most irritating thing is Stagecoach, who I write complaining to regularly, will not pay for these routes, despite the huge profit that they make on other journeys, lets face it Stagecoach don't even pay towards bus stations or bus stops! Public transport needs to be nationalised, the privatisation of buses/trains has failed in terms of affordable service, but vast profits for the owners!
    Whenever I complain to Stagecoach about their extortionate prices they always say that they are investing in a new fleet of buses, as if!

  • Comment number 24.

    Some of those who do not worry about bus cuts because they drive everywhere, should think again.

    Many people as they get older find, for one reason or another, that they cannot drive anymore. If you cannot afford to employ a chauffeur, or to use taxis all the time, you may suddenly find yourself dependent on public transport.

    This is another example of the the lunacy of the ConDem austerity policy. Bus drivers will be paid unemployment benefit not to drive buses, while people that need them are stranded at home.

  • Comment number 25.

    Not at all important.
    I've used my local bus 'service' a handful of times in the last 20 years & each time felt ripped off. I live in the Bristol area & it is well known to be one of the most expensive bus 'services' in the country.
    The last time i did use it, the journey cost approximately £1.00 per mile.
    I'll stick to my car thank you very much. (much cheaper)

  • Comment number 26.

    It's a lifeline. Like a high percentage of people in my area, I have no car. There is a train service, but only one train out of the town every 2 hours. So losing bus services would leave many people trapped.

  • Comment number 27.

    I read that many contributors have fallen into the government trap. It's a viscious circle.

    Because of underfunding for years our bus and train services are sparse and unreliable; therefore people don''t use them if they can avoid it, so they receive less funding, and so on. And many of you are telling us that because of this the services are not important to you. Please wake up and understand that these services are necessary to many people and you are allowing them to be cut more by your laissez faire attitude. Having spent time in countries where the public transport system works well I tell you that with proper funding and encouragement we could have a system that means far fewer cars on the road because public transport would be preferred.

    Of course with debacles like the Edinburgh tram fiasco I don't know if this country has the heart to tackle our transport issues, as many comments here show.

  • Comment number 28.

    Local buses are obviously extremely important to all who use them, especially the elderly who rely on them to do their shopping etc. We are always being told to reduce cars on the road after all.
    Regardless of whether or not it would affect me (I use a bus to work and home each day) let us think about everyone and not just ourselves. One of the main problems in this country is the selfish attitude that seems to have been encouraged by subsequent governments that we should be reponsible for ourselves. Yes that is fine but let us also try and be responsible for how our behaviour affects other people and show some consideration and care where possible.

  • Comment number 29.

    Buses are important for people who cant drive. I have no sympathy for people who wont drive (such as my partner) because driving is a necessary life skill. People need it, the economy needs it and everyone relies on on drivers even if they dont drive.

    The public transport system cant compete with having your own car. The freedom and possibilities opened up to people is amazing

  • Comment number 30.

    I think it is important. I used to commute by bus to the city centre but Fisrt Eastern Counties stopped the route. There is another bus company serving our area but their timetable is not suitable for my work committment. Subsequently I am driving to work. I am lucky because I have a car for my own use although it costs more than using public transport. But for people who don't have a car or can't drive, local bus services are quite important. How can they move from a place to another? Some people might be stuck in the middle of nowhere.

  • Comment number 31.

    19. At 12:01pm on 03 Feb 2011, Brianlancashire wrote:
    Buses are not important to me - however they are heavily used by those which this government is determined to neglect - namely the young and the elderly.

    -----------------------------------------------------------
    As it's your local council that has taken the decision to reduce services (assuming it has) it's not central governments fault.

  • Comment number 32.

    There is a fully private bus system where I live. Unlike the horrible, wasteful part-public funded rail services, this is a brilliant counterpart to the cheaper but less comfortable council-run buses.

    It is a little more expensive, but it is comfortable (leather seats!), reaches very far from the city centre and shows that public and private services should exist alongside each other, not in a hideous public funded, privately run amalgamation where taxpayers line shareholder's pockets.

    Having said that, I do not believe public buses should end. They serve their place as the cheap option, a public service available to all, and force private companies not to charge extortionate prices without competition.

  • Comment number 33.

    Local bus services in rural areas are an essential life line, not everyone drives or could afford to get a taxi, the cost to the passenger is as important as the service itself, these are tax paying communities that need transport links, the government should take appropriate steps to ensure that links to essential services for these people are maintained if not strengthened in our big society.

  • Comment number 34.

    24. At 12:07pm on 03 Feb 2011, stanblogger wrote:

    Some of those who do not worry about bus cuts because they drive everywhere, should think again.

    Many people as they get older find, for one reason or another, that they cannot drive anymore. If you cannot afford to employ a chauffeur, or to use taxis all the time, you may suddenly find yourself dependent on public transport.

    This is another example of the the lunacy of the ConDem austerity policy. Bus drivers will be paid unemployment benefit not to drive buses, while people that need them are stranded at home

    //////////////////////////

    That's all very well, but it assumes that you'll be able to afford the 'service' when you're old & retired. I'm middle aged & in full time employment & i can't afford it now.

  • Comment number 35.

    Almost never use a bus - they're akin to travelling in a mobile TB ward / Plague House!

    You hop on the bus all healthy & alight after contracting every virus known to the human race, never mind the mildew from the damp, the chewing gum on the seats...I'll stick to walking thanks!

  • Comment number 36.

    I live in North Lincolnshire but our Town is small and on the border of South Yorkshire. The town is small and like many others you have to travel to get major shopping done. The bus service is a life line for the non-drivers or folk that have no car. We help where we can, either picking up shopping or taking people in to either Scunthorpe or Doncaster.
    Cut backs would be a disaster for these folk.
    I realise that some councils are trying to force the government hand by cutting back on services which gain the most publicity but I am sick of the present bunch riding roughshod over us all with their cutbacks.
    I look at the faces of Cameron, Osborne and Clegg and actually feel they are enjoying their moment of power. Just hope that they are a thing of the past soon. It is not so much the policies I hate it is the way it is these individuals and their smug "it won't effect us attitudes.

  • Comment number 37.

    Public Transport used to be a service to the public at one time, but not any more. Now it's all run to make a profit - thank you for that, Mrs Thatcher!
    I used to drive, but unfortunately, a medical condition now prevents me from driving a car, so I am at the mercy of public transport.
    Bus services where I live are non-existent in the evenings and at weekends, so hard luck if you need to go anywhere!
    That's "Public Transport" for you!

  • Comment number 38.

    31. At 12:21pm on 03 Feb 2011, Tio Terry wrote:
    19. At 12:01pm on 03 Feb 2011, Brianlancashire wrote:
    Buses are not important to me - however they are heavily used by those which this government is determined to neglect - namely the young and the elderly.

    -----------------------------------------------------------
    As it's your local council that has taken the decision to reduce services (assuming it has) it's not central governments fault.

    =====================================

    As it is central government that has CUT council incomes, moreso the poorer councils with HIGH use of buses due to unafforability of cars, then it is FACTUALLY CORRECT that government is more GREATLY responsible as their policys are basically to rob the masses of income and wealth in preference of maintaining and supporting those who are RESPONSIBLE for our attrocious economic/financial and social DESTRUCTION.

  • Comment number 39.

    I blame Thatcher!

    Do I get a prize?

  • Comment number 40.

    I use my local bus route on a daily basis when commuting in and out of central London. The big problem with our route is that the timekeeping on it is atrocious. The buses are supposed to be approximately 12 minutes apart - which is admittedly a lot better than in rural areas - but very often you can be waiting an age for one or two come along together. Given the technology that is available these days surely it isn't that hard to get timings correct? And no I don't live in central London.

    Many people use the 58 route and the number of buses that are on that route are insufficient to cover the number of people that use the route. God knows what will happen when the Olympics hit this area next year!

  • Comment number 41.

    Public transport isn't practical for me like lots of other posters. It would add an extra 1 hour on to my commute each way and its only 11 miles away! I used the train to get to work during the heavy snow and it cost over £5 for a return ticket that against £1 for each journey by car I'd be crazy not to keep driving. However this is a lifeline for many, often those on low incomes who cannot afford the financial burden of a car (who can these days!) so evidence again, that the poor man is taking the full front of the cuts.

  • Comment number 42.

    Can someone tell me, when the railways were privatised the people that bought them were private companies so there was no need for the state to subsidise them. So, why are we now in the position where the government are putting up funds to by new rolling stock? And tell me, when corporations and local councils sold off their public services to the private sector it was supposedly to create more competition and better services, where are they. It's o.k. if you live in a city, plenty of transport although you get screwed when you use them. Out in the country where wages are rock bottom, where people really can't afford to run a car but have to or they wouldn't be able to get to work, or get to the shopping parks for essentials or socialise, we have councillors saying they will have to cut services to save mone. No, no, no you greedy parasites, if you need to save money you save by cutting out all your excess that you've been treating yourselves to over the years. Transport is a vital part of the countries infrastructure, it's not yours to play about with, council tax payers don't pay their obscene taxes to keep you lot in luxury.

  • Comment number 43.

    If they want to cut bus services cut the local town and city loops. The ones that run every 10-15 mins in a small circuit with next to no people on. Put on more services at peak times for commuters by all means but through the day day you can easily have less.

    In our area only the rual routes appear to be subsidised and to cut those would definately be harsh.

  • Comment number 44.

    The majority of "Local" bus services are run by three international bus operators, none of which pay full UK taxes as they are headquartered overseas. As these are private enterprises they have to make profits for their foreign owners. They have carved up the UK amongst themselves yet our local councillors and quango Passenger Transport Authorities have done nothing to break the chain because they will lose out on their own lucrative behind the scene deals.
    Until this situation is changed by law then the travelling public will continue to be ripped off and continue to suffer worsening services. It is interesting to note that the very people who would benefit the most from improved services ie pensioners and other elderly are very apathetic. They could help change the system by exercising their voting rights in the May local elections against the very councillors who do nothing except pocket allowances and expenses whilst sitting on Transport Committees.

  • Comment number 45.

    31. At 12:21pm on 03 Feb 2011, Tio Terry wrote:
    19. At 12:01pm on 03 Feb 2011, Brianlancashire wrote:
    Buses are not important to me - however they are heavily used by those which this government is determined to neglect - namely the young and the elderly.

    -----------------------------------------------------------
    As it's your local council that has taken the decision to reduce services (assuming it has) it's not central governments fault.

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    But where do you think the local authority gets the money from in the first place (or rather doesn't get it due to cuts in LA funding)? Central government, my friend. All council tax and local business rates collected by LAs goes to central government who thyen decide how much to return in the form of grants. If central govt cut the grants the LA has nno choice but cut services. A neat way for central govt to pass the buck making it appear to be the fault of you local authority. And a ruse you've swallowed hook line and sinker. Dave must be delighted!

  • Comment number 46.

    Since the time when road tax was introduced succesive governments have squandered and wasted the revenue earned. Brain dead politicians with their equally dead civil servants have ripped and ruined all forms of transports (trams, railways etc). The last tory government under Mrs T advocated everything would be done by road and sold off the railways that we the people of this country owned to maverick who ruined the railwaysnetwork. What little road we have left are full of pot holes thanks to successive government not spending the revenue they earned on repairs etc. Having killed everything else this government now wants to kill the only life line left to millions who rely on some form of transport -fine go ahead kill this as well - that way no one will be able to work, no work will be there the economy would be dead, perhaps the bankers will find a way to subsidise us all including the MP@S fat pay cheques!!

  • Comment number 47.

    Correctly managed and timetabled, buses could be a valuable mode of travel. Sadly, the timetables in my area (we are on the Liverpool-St Helens route) are very badly organised. So-much-so that I have seen 3 buses arrive within the space of 5 minutes of each other, then no bus for 2 hours!!
    As a consequence I steer clear of public transport and use my car/taxis. Buses and trains are too unreliable. Yet they never were when I was young!! Progress!!!

  • Comment number 48.

    11. At 11:57am on 03 Feb 2011, Monogram wrote:
    Now ther is a surprise, instead of cutting the thousnads of non-jobs created by NU-labour councils have decided to cut services to the you, the elderly and the vulnerable. Thre is no necessity to cut bus routes. Aren't local and cetral government alwasy bleating we should use public transport to help the environment, when it comes to non-jobs and cuts the necessary services are the first to go. No change there then.

    --------------------------------------------------------

    I see you're adopting the Tory handbook guide to blame local councils for cuts and absolve central government of all responsibility. Well done, Cammers will be proud.

    Anyway, a lot of these rural bus services are not cost efficient. Why should I as a tax payer fund a service which isn't utilised efficiently? (I've been waiting to say that for ages).

    So a few people may have to walk 40 miles to and from the shops, it's all part of 'we're all in this together'. As value for money is the mantra bleated out by the HYS Tory fans then surely they have nothing to complain about. You'll just have to suck it up like the rest of us.

    If it's party led council decisions you'd like to discuss then may I offer up Surrey - Tory controlled - cuts per person of approx 9 pounds per head. A Labour council in the North East has a rate of 80 pounds approx cut per person. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Interesting.

  • Comment number 49.

    @WiseOldBob...

    I ride a motorbike. I pay for road tax, insurance and MOT's and I think you'll find I can ride it in the Dales whenever I like.

  • Comment number 50.

    Public transport is vital to any country. It is a green solution to road overcrowding and creates an efficient means by which the country's economy is kept moving.

    Unfortunately, public transport in this country is an absolute joke. At the age of 35, I finally learnt how to drive last year after finally having enough of the poor, untrustworthy, over expensive service. I live in London. I know from experience that as soon as you leave the M25 you haven't a hope.

    I believe that the rot set in during privatisation. Just because the Government at the time couldn't run the system does not mean that every Government cannot run the system. You only have to cross the channel to find efficient and well run public transport systems.

    Public transport will never make money (and shouldn't) and at the moment we are paying through the nose to line the pockets of someone not doing their job.

  • Comment number 51.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 52.

    I stopped using public transport when Thatcher sold it off to her friends in the private sector.

  • Comment number 53.

    Both my local bus and train services are very important to me as I live in the London suburbs and public transport is the only option when moving around London. I have given up driving because it is to expensive and I only used the car once in a while. My groceries are delivered, as is most of my purchases, the majority ordered online, so no need for a car. All my family work in the City of London so have to use public transport, driving around London is HELL, and I can't think of any sane person, except bus drivers and delivery people that would do it. My only complaint is that the cost of public transport is to high, when most buses and trains are overcrowded and uncomfortable. Sadley, we have no choice in the matter other then NOT work in the City.

  • Comment number 54.

    After an eye operation over the festive period I wasn't able to drive. It normally takes me about 25 minutes to get to work but about three hours in a bus and a very long walk. It's great fun walking over the Forth Road Bridge in the pitch black on ice and snow - or I could have waited about an hour for a bus.....

    I don't get buses very often primarily because drivers are often surly and unpleasant and the buses themselves are filthy.

    I empathise with those who have to use them to get to where they want to go but it certainly is a very last resort for me.

  • Comment number 55.

    I rarely use buses personally, but cutting bus services would be extremely irresponsible when the government is allegedly trying to get more people using public transport! This is the classic situation that never changes - what the government does with one hand is undone by its other hand! This is an example, and one of many, of this fundamental failure of our political system.

  • Comment number 56.

    My village has 2 buses per day, which says everything about rural public transport. So we all get in our 4x4's for the commute across single track snow/ice covered roads and pay 3 times the road tax of anyone else. Nice.

  • Comment number 57.

    I've seen both extremes of this:
    I used to live in a village in cambridgeshire - there was, literally, one bus a week, on a thursday to the supermarket, coming back a couple of hours later. No good for anyone and hence, rarely used other than by a few pensioners for whom it was probably their only link.
    People complained that its not convenient to use, they have to own a car anyway, so they use that.

    I moved to Scotland, to a similarly sized village, and there is literally a bus passing through every 15-30 minutes from 6am to midnight. Its frequent, convenient and probably costs the taxpayer a fortune to keep running. The busiest services have rarely got any more than 8 or 10 people on it though, and quite often picks no-one up.
    People complain that its not convenient to use, they have to own a car anyway, so they use that....

    I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't matter how frequent the busses are, people will always complain and find a reason not to use them. It won't make a lot of difference to those who already own a car... like most of us.

    Personally, I think its the stigma and the experience. Civic busses are fairly hateful things - uncomfortable, noisy and really not much cheaper than the cost of petrol or diesel if you want to drive.

    The public sector takes a very simplistic attitude to public transport. If there is a service between point A and point B, it is relatively frequent and costs no more than driving, then people should use it.
    Wrong. It take no account and places no value on the comfort and convenience of using a car which is being paid for whether you use it or not. The only variable cost (and therefore the only relevant benchmark cost) is of fuel and parking. People place a very high value on the comfort and convenience of their own car. So this has to be matched, or the service price discounted sufficiently to make the bus an attractive alternative.

    Being someone who commuted to London for a time, I would go as far as to say I would choose which train service to travel on based on the specific rolling stock being used. 75 minutes in a cramped, worn out and uncomfortable carriage was not appealing, so I chose to work slightly longer so I could travel on a train that was more modern, more spacious and comfortable.

    Make civic busses warm, comfortable, more of an 'experience' and half the price and it would tempt me.
    For example, the X5 coach between Oxford and Cambridge is a great service and used a lot for hopping between villages on the the route. I do it quite often, but I wouldn't even consider it if it was operated with a typical civic bus.

  • Comment number 58.

    I drive a car and so many will think it is unimportant to me however I take the bus everyday and so does my wife. The buses are clean and although sometimes full are always on time. The bustops have LED signs on them that tell you when the bus is arriving first at what time and as the time gets closer in minutes as a countdown.

    The prices are good, the scedule is linked to others and we get about great.
    My wife uses a bus to the underground and gets her connection at the same time everyday without fail.

    The car I have to use to get home as we live in Hamburg now, yes Germany where the bus service is not privatised and the focus is on getting people to where they need to be. Yes you have to walk a little to and from bus stops but it is not far to offices and shops. The buses all tilt to allow the infirm to get on and wheelchair access.

    When we come to the UK there is no relaible local service, the bus that my daughter has to get, because Daddy is in Germany, is hardly ever on time, twice as expensive as the equivelant ride in Germany, filthy, noisy and generally running on roads that require a lot of work. This bus service, due to earlier government policies, is privatised.

    I have found a similar high level of service in Holland as well, the trams are excellent if in Amsterdam.

    The UK privatised, profits are made on main routes so others are scrapped.

    I know which I prefer....ps you can even borrow books on some German buses and put them back next time you are on the bus and guess what nobody destroys them or fails to replace, in fact we have even contributed books after watching another passenger doing the same.

    Nationalisation and increased routes may be the only way to get people out of cars. It works for me.

  • Comment number 59.

    One could be forgiven for believing that local councils are deliberately making the sort of cuts that will 'punish' or even de-stabilise the Coalition Government. I would prefer to see more Councils cutting their top executive salaries first, but we hear very little news about that! Many Councils defend their decisions by merely saying that it is not their fault and that blame should rest solely with the Coalition Government - not an edifying spectacle. After all, the huge national debt has to be paid off somehow and we were all warned about it before the General Election. Or is it that the public are in favour of cut backs so long as they do not affect them!

  • Comment number 60.

    39. At 12:32pm on 03 Feb 2011, forclarification wrote:

    I blame Thatcher!

    Do I get a prize?
    ---------------------
    I there were prizes for blaming other parties, David Cameron would be swamped with them!

  • Comment number 61.

    29. At 12:18pm on 03 Feb 2011, in_the_uk wrote:
    Buses are important for people who cant drive. I have no sympathy for people who wont drive (such as my partner) because driving is a necessary life skill. People need it, the economy needs it and everyone relies on on drivers even if they dont drive.

    The public transport system cant compete with having your own car. The freedom and possibilities opened up to people is amazing

    ----------------------------------------------

    Many people simply can't afford to drive. Have you any idea how much it costs for a teenager to insure a car in the UK? And what about pensioners who are physically unable to drive now? At least Cammers has promised to initiate a fuel regulation fairness system (or whatever he calls it) - but it is afterall a promise from Cammers - so we all know that will never happen.

    Then there's the pollution caused by cars. Does this have no bearing on your comments?

    The public transport system became a disaster after it was deregulated. Once profit became the priority then standards slipped and people switched to using cars as a more enjoyable form of transport. Myself included.

    I'd suggest we renationalise public transport and provide a service worthy of a developed Western country, something similar to the French model would suffice.

  • Comment number 62.

    It's confirmed then, this Tory Government is finishing off what the previous Tory Government started.

    Why should local Councils have to subsidise a service which was privatised by the Tories under the mantra of - Private Industry will always do it better. Councils have been picking up the pieces of the disaster left from the public transport privatisation, now they are getting their money cut by this Tory Government, something has to give.

    If privatisation was such a great idea, why is public transportation in such a mess, would anyone argue against the assertion that it is much, much worse than it was before privatisation, buses & trains.

    My experience and obviously many others from reading this HYS, is that the current bus service is absymal whether subsidised or not.

    Looks like they are now going to force the poorer sections of society to get on their bike, except it will not just be to look for non-existent jobs, it will mean the elderly cycling to hospital / doctors appointments etc.


  • Comment number 63.

    39. At 12:32pm on 03 Feb 2011, forclarification wrote:

    I blame Thatcher!

    Do I get a prize


    =========================================

    As it was the right answer you go through to the next HYS!!!

  • Comment number 64.

    *chuckle* i drive. and if i don't drive i cycle. Why on earth would i get a bus?

    Imagine standing around outside waiting an unknown time for a vehicle that may be too packed to stop? Where are these stops anyway?
    Imagine having to pay ever increasing fares for short distances? How about not getting a seat. nevermind the logistics of shopping. Oh, the practicality of public transport!

    Of course, as mentioned, in cities you may get a bus more often but otherwise, they dont really turn up frequently enough. I'm not even going to mention what time services stop in the evening.. oh, dammit, i mentioned it!

    Scrap busses altogether - safer for cyclists and less congestion in town centres

  • Comment number 65.

    There are huge problems here:
    a) 'Today' interviewed Cambridge council - the one that has just squandered millions on ripping up a serviceable railway, knocking down several stations and replacing it with a concrete 'guided busway' which is STILL not open somewhere around 2 years late. This squandering of money is at the root of many problems. It would have cost about 15% to have reinstated the track fully and turned it into a less poluting electric tram system - the current system still has diesel busses for heavens sake!
    b) Cambridge/Suffolk cancelled the bus I used to use for work. The reasoning - they reckoned it cost 100,000 a year in subsidy - when you consider that there were about 20 people who used this minibus regularly it seems incredible - it wasn't a nbew bus every year and the driver didn't wear rolex! Someone somewhere was taking a huge rip off, far more than the cost of the service that is for certain.

  • Comment number 66.

    #8 richardjackson99 says “I refuse to use public transport - it's inconvenient, rarely on time and overcrowded. I'd rather walk, or stay at home, if I can't afford to drive myself.”

    First question is how do you know public transport “is inconvenient, rarely on time, and overcrowded” if you do not use it? And of course there is a massive lack of investment – people cannot afford it after maintaining their “convenient little 'green' motor”. However for some a car is not a viable alternative – how do you think these people cope or don't you care?

  • Comment number 67.

    38. At 12:31pm on 03 Feb 2011, MrWonderfulReality wrote:
    31. At 12:21pm on 03 Feb 2011, Tio Terry wrote:
    19. At 12:01pm on 03 Feb 2011, Brianlancashire wrote:
    Buses are not important to me - however they are heavily used by those which this government is determined to neglect - namely the young and the elderly.

    -----------------------------------------------------------
    As it's your local council that has taken the decision to reduce services (assuming it has) it's not central governments fault.

    =====================================

    As it is central government that has CUT council incomes, moreso the poorer councils with HIGH use of buses due to unafforability of cars, then it is FACTUALLY CORRECT that government is more GREATLY responsible as their policys are basically to rob the masses of income and wealth in preference of maintaining and supporting those who are RESPONSIBLE for our attrocious economic/financial and social DESTRUCTION.

    -----------------------------------------------------------
    Just out of interest, why do you always find it neccessary to shout (use of capital letters) in your posts? If you read the house rules you will see you should not do it.

    Firstly I don't care which political tribe is in power, they are all useless so far as I am concerned, there's no such thing as an honest politician.

    All councils are facing cuts - like most lots of others - and there's no reason for them to be exempted. How the councils chose to apply those cuts is up to them. Labour run councils will do their utmost to discredit the national government because it's not their tribe. It would still be the same if the Labour tribe were in power, the non Labour tribes would do exactly the same thing. The whole lot of them are corrupt, none of them put the good of the Country first, just themselves.

    As yourself the question, why have some councils decided to make these cuts but not others? There's more than one way to reduce spending, get your council to explain why they made their choices, pound to a penny most will be because ideology, not because it's the best thing for the country.

  • Comment number 68.

    45. At 12:37pm on 03 Feb 2011, Boz Scaggs wrote:

    But where do you think the local authority gets the money from in the first place (or rather doesn't get it due to cuts in LA funding)? Central government, my friend. All council tax and local business rates collected by LAs goes to central government who thyen decide how much to return in the form of grants.
    ================================================================
    Your understanding of local authority funding is wrong. Council tax normally accounts for about 25% of LA revenue and is raised and expended locally, it doesn't go to central government.

  • Comment number 69.

    11. At 11:57am on 03 Feb 2011, Monogram wrote:
    Now ther is a surprise, instead of cutting the thousnads of non-jobs created by NU-labour councils have decided to cut services to the you, the elderly and the vulnerable. Thre is no necessity to cut bus routes. Aren't local and cetral government alwasy bleating we should use public transport to help the environment, when it comes to non-jobs and cuts the necessary services are the first to go. No change there then.
    ============================
    Ahh the mythical non-job argument.

    I know many public sector workers who work flat out all day doing the most hideous of jobs, bringing work home, stressed to the eyeballs.

    Please list a few of these non-jobs, or is it just the usual Tory bull...

  • Comment number 70.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 71.

    Having lived in London for years, I got used to the fact that driving was something I could do without during the week. Bus services were regular & I could get to most places fairly easily - as long as I could put up with often drunk & abusive passengers - even during the morning rush-hour. But if I wanted to see a friend, 20 miles away (outside London), I had to drive as the journey by public transport was almost 3 hours.

    Now I'm living back in the countryside, I have no choice to use public transport. My wife & I work in different directions, the 20 minute journey to work is not covered by any route for either of us, so we both drive.

    Cutting back on local bus services will however have an impact on us. Where people still need to make their journeys, they'll be forced to drive. More cars on the road, more congestion, more duty for the government.

  • Comment number 72.

    48. At 12:41pm on 03 Feb 2011, gee4444 wrote:

    If it's party led council decisions you'd like to discuss then may I offer up Surrey - Tory controlled - cuts per person of approx 9 pounds per head. A Labour council in the North East has a rate of 80 pounds approx cut per person. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Interesting.
    ==============================================
    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, interesting indeed. Or maybe the council in Surrey is better managed and less wasteful.................

  • Comment number 73.

    32. At 12:23pm on 03 Feb 2011, undyingcincinnatus wrote:
    There is a fully private bus system where I live. Unlike the horrible, wasteful part-public funded rail services, this is a brilliant counterpart to the cheaper but less comfortable council-run buses.

    It is a little more expensive, but it is comfortable (leather seats!), reaches very far from the city centre and shows that public and private services should exist alongside each other, not in a hideous public funded, privately run amalgamation where taxpayers line shareholder's pockets.

    Having said that, I do not believe public buses should end. They serve their place as the cheap option, a public service available to all, and force private companies not to charge extortionate prices without competition.

    ==============================================

    Nice to seperate and conquer.

    The FACT is, is that bus services are NOT just shorter urban journeys but also include inter-city and town to town journeys.

    Upon personally searching for certain inter-city bus/coach and train travel costs I found that the ONCE great difference in prices has mainly been destroyed. Where coach travel used to be substantially lower than train travel in many instances the difference in price is endemically negligible.

    Much of this has come about by train companys and coach companys now being one and the same and them gaining a near monopoly of routes and travelling and also via cross business monopolistic pricing structures.

    I know of previous journeys which had a coach and train price difference of around £25.00 the difference has now reduced to around £4.00/£6.00.

    However, local and regional transport minister Norman Baker argued that while he accepted the funding settlement was "challenging", most bus services would not be affected.

    What MUPPET Norman Baker does NOT mention is that it is the SPECIFIC services which reach smaller communitys and off peak services which are being targetted for CUTS.

    Hence NORMAL day to day life and activity for a GREAT number of people is being not just cut, but ATTACKED in a way which undermines the WHOLE structure of lives and FREEDOMS.

    Its basically like closing down motorways or restricting numbers of vehicles allowed to utlise them during off peak hours.

    I ask, HOW is our societys economy going to grow in a way that meets changing needs etc, which ENABLES LESS PEAK time travel and meets needs and growth of FLEXIBLE working hours and ESSENTIALLY PART TIME WORK if the transport structure which even at its present levels PROVIDES such flexibility is thus DESTROYED.

    TRANSPORT structures are an ESSENTIAL ingredient of economic growth, yet instead of maintaining that which exists it is going to be severely undermined.

    Is this part of an overal plan to reduce national emissions to reach targets etc via RESTRICTING movement of the lower earnings masses via making work journeys either unaffordable or just NON-EXISTANT, thus coraling workers into a local sheep pen workforce.

    Why is it that so much of that which is endemically NEEDED to facilitate economic growth, is then CUT/DESTROYED when it is MOST needed.

    Maybe, with the way the economy is going and part of the scheme, government are trying to facilitate HUGE job creation via creating a playing field which enables the MASS employment of people via a RICKSHAW transport system.

  • Comment number 74.

    "41. At 12:33pm on 03 Feb 2011, 5 days to go wrote:
    Public transport isn't practical for me like lots of other posters. It would add an extra 1 hour on to my commute each way and its only 11 miles away! I used the train to get to work during the heavy snow and it cost over £5 for a return ticket that against £1 for each journey by car I'd be crazy not to keep driving."

    You're lucky!

    £5 for a return ticket of 11 miles? My commute is a similar distance - 12 minutes on the train for the princely (rip-off) sum of £7.30 for a return. Rarely are there enough seats for all the passengers and often the train is often delayed simply because of the time taken to board and alight from the short-formed train!

    There's a bus service that operates almost exactly the same route, costs almost as much and usually gets stuck in rush-hour traffic. Even without traffic the route takes around 50 minutes for a distance I can drive in just under 15 minutes in the car (legally). The local buses are also owned by the same company that run the trains, so whichever 'public' option I use the cash ends up with the same shareholders!

    For a while I drove into work but with the insane levels of traffic, introduction of parking charges outside my home (resident permits), the loss of subsidy on parking at work (now £7 a day) and the cost of petrol and insurance - the train is actually the best option for me!

    It's a shame there aren't more public bus services like the ones I've used in Cardiff and Edinburgh. They may not have been the most luxurious forms of transport, but they were cheap and clean - and got me where I needed to go.

  • Comment number 75.

    52. At 12:43pm on 03 Feb 2011, frankiecrisp wrote:
    I stopped using public transport when Thatcher sold it off to her friends in the private sector.
    ==============================================
    Have you stopped eating food because it's all supplied through the private sector?

    And, by the way, I claimed the Thatcher prize at post #39

  • Comment number 76.

    *chuckle* i drive. and if i don't drive i cycle. Why on earth would i get a bus?

    Imagine standing around outside waiting an unknown time for a vehicle that may be too packed to stop? Where are these stops anyway?
    Imagine having to pay ever increasing fares for short distances? How about not getting a seat. nevermind the logistics of shopping. Oh, the practicality of public transport!

    Of course, as mentioned, in cities you may get a bus more often but otherwise, they dont really turn up frequently enough. I'm not even going to mention what time services stop in the evening.. oh, dammit, i mentioned it!

    Scrap busses altogether - safer for cyclists and less congestion in town centres
    ---

    yes i can just see it now,
    people with broken legs, lost limbs or just being over 60 cycling round with no problems.



    MEMEMEMEME

    this country is a disgrace to the human race!
    the individual selfishness in England is pathetic.

  • Comment number 77.

    I use buses very often, although the service is better and more frequent than many years ago the prices are extortionate. If I am with my friend and we are travelling to town we get a taxi door to door because it is cheaper then both of us getting the bus for a 5 minute trip.

    If they want to get people to travel by bus they need to make them cheaper and more regular. Its just hypocrisy by our gov. they want us to travel by bus or public transport to save the environment but make the fares so expensive people cannot afford even to go to work its a joke on us i think

  • Comment number 78.

    In remote rural areas the local bus is a lifeline to many isolated villages and small towns. These are precisely the areas that stand to lose many of their bus services. It's all very well to say that everyone should have a car if they live in such places but many are elderly people who are unable or cannot afford to drive. Many less well off people rely on the bus for work,shopping and hospital trips as well as taking their children to school.

    There are alternatives to subsidising full size buses running half empty though...Many communities have their own minibuses not used for parts of the day which could be used for some scheduled public transport functions at minimal cost...This needs to be explored more. I believe that money can be saved without neccessarily having to cut rural bus services.

  • Comment number 79.

    Several problems around here (apart from the money wasting I've sent in another post).
    We are close to a county border, appears that the two councils are unable to sort out how to get busses running from one county to the other.
    I work on the edge of a major city - on one of the countries largest 'science parks' yet the bus service (such as it is) from my town goes into the city centre (through all the traffic jams) and then I have to change to another bus and fight through more traffic jams to get out to the edge.
    Were the busses from out of town to circulate around the various park and rides dropping people off - and avoiding the queues for town - then the passengers could swap to a town based service from those stops. But no, no one seems able to think of such solutions.

  • Comment number 80.

    Before they think about cutting bus services why don’t they think about cutting the 'bosses' in the public sector?
    I have a friend who works in a 2 man team (was 4 but due to 'cuts' they had to get rid of some people) now this 2 man team has 6 direct managers to answer to. Can someone do the maths on this for me because I am confused! Keeping 6 managers on a high salary but justifying by cutting 2 low paid jobs?
    So now because of the short sightedness of the government good ole' Doris at number 32 has to suffer because she can't get to the shops to buy life’s little luxuries like toilet paper, bread and milk as her bus service has been removed! It makes me sick to my stomach to think there are people who would let this happen just to save a few pence.

  • Comment number 81.

    As much as you can possibly avoid them, WHY would you use public transport.

    They are germ/virus infested, spreading all and sundry onto those who travel upon them.

    Might as well just eat peanuts from a bowl next to the toilets in a pub/bar.

  • Comment number 82.

    59. At 12:51pm on 03 Feb 2011, Alasdair Campbell wrote:
    One could be forgiven for believing that local councils are deliberately making the sort of cuts that will 'punish' or even de-stabilise the Coalition Government. I would prefer to see more Councils cutting their top executive salaries first, but we hear very little news about that! Many Councils defend their decisions by merely saying that it is not their fault and that blame should rest solely with the Coalition Government - not an edifying spectacle. After all, the huge national debt has to be paid off somehow and we were all warned about it before the General Election. Or is it that the public are in favour of cut backs so long as they do not affect them!
    ======================
    Things must be bad, even the Tory and LibDem coucils are trying to destablise the coalition....

    Yeah - have to agree, people were very gullible in the last election.. some even believed Nick Clegg...

  • Comment number 83.

    Just the latest in a very long line of special interest groups campaigning about public sector cut backs. Get real!

    The last Government dug this country into a huge financial black hole (or should that be red hole???). The annual public finance deficit is very large, and the accumulated debt is huge. Cuts in expenditure HAVE to be made ... no ifs, buts or maybes.

    So, if the arts budget isn't cut, school building programme isn't cut, local authority spending isn't cut, police budgest aren't cut, subsidised bus services aren't cut, or any of the dozens of other areas of public spending aren't cut, where should the axe fall?

    Come on all you campaigners. If your special interest is saved from cuts, where else should the savings be made?

    Tax the bankers more perhaps? Either that will yield a very small amount (too few of them), or the tax rates will be so draconian as to drive most of the best talent into the arms of our competitors. It's happened before.

  • Comment number 84.

    I have lived in central, suburban and rural areas during my working life and as a regular public transport user can confirm that without public transport rural unemployment levels could shoot through the roof.Many workers on low pay will be unable to travel to work.
    The upward pressure on fuel prices will only exacerbate the situation. 'B' roads and country lanes are going to be put under more traffic pressure.
    In these days of austerity this is one area which needs to avoid cuts.

    It surprises me that the Countryside Alliance and Haulage Contractors aren't out blockading the streets as they did for what they perceived to be unfair legislation under the Labour Adminstration.

    Are we only now seeing where their true loyalties lie?

  • Comment number 85.

    Maybe the councils will remove the bus lanes that filter traffic to one lane despite only being 1 bus every 15 minutes.
    This could be an intresting experiment on traffic flow to see how it improves

  • Comment number 86.

    I wouldn't be seen dead on public transport. But if buses keep the riff raff off the roads then they are a good thing.

  • Comment number 87.

    We hear so much about public spending cuts
    but nothing about Council tax or any other tax
    cuts, why not??? If the bus service and other services are being taken away we should be paying less tax. "We are all in this together".

  • Comment number 88.

    Alasdair Campbell wrote:
    One could be forgiven for believing that local councils are deliberately making the sort of cuts that will 'punish' or even de-stabilise the Coalition Government. I would prefer to see more Councils cutting their top executive salaries first, but we hear very little news about that! Many Councils defend their decisions by merely saying that it is not their fault and that blame should rest solely with the Coalition Government - not an edifying spectacle. After all, the huge national debt has to be paid off somehow and we were all warned about it before the General Election. Or is it that the public are in favour of cut backs so long as they do not affect them!

    ====================================================================

    It may have escaped your notice but there are more Tory Councuillors than any other Party. If you take NOC Councils out of the equation I believe you'll find that a lot of the councils are lead by Tories.

    Got to keep the serf's at home on low wages.

  • Comment number 89.

    I now live in the middle of Exeter and can walk most places. However, I also frequently use the bus for longer trips. At present Devon is geneally extremely well served by a good network of reliable bus routes. This is absolutely vital in a county that is both very rural and has a higher than national average age population. I do have a car, at the moment, used about once a week. There are many that cannot afford a car given that motoring (especially fuel) costs are so high. The loss of bus links can only speed the decline of rural areas.

  • Comment number 90.

    I'm lucky, I live within walking distance of work - although there is a bus service, I rarely use it unless the weather is really bad. However, outside of town these services are a lifeline - not everyone can afford to run a car or is fit enough to cycle.

    What strikes me though, is that there will be a developing cycle of people losing their jobs, with cuts in housing benefits many people will have to move out of towns, and then cuts in transport services mean they can't get to work when things look up again and they find a job. Also with these severe increases in the cost of fuel, many people are going to find it harder and harder to keep a vehicle on the road. There's no joined up thinking to many of these decisions, for example how much does it cost to transport patients to hospital appointments, if public transport is bad.

    To those of you who complain about the state of public transport and say you wouldn't use it, just think on. Everything in the garden may be rosy at the moment, but what if you lost your job? What if you become too old or ill to drive/cycle?

    A decent public transport system is necessary to any civilised country. I don't care who cut what service or when - some adult thinking on what necessary services are needs to take place.

  • Comment number 91.

    61. At 12:52pm on 03 Feb 2011, gee4444 wrote:

    Many people simply can't afford to drive. Have you any idea how much it costs for a teenager to insure a car in the UK? And what about pensioners who are physically unable to drive now? At least Cammers has promised to initiate a fuel regulation fairness system (or whatever he calls it) - but it is afterall a promise from Cammers - so we all know that will never happen.

    Then there's the pollution caused by cars. Does this have no bearing on your comments?

    The public transport system became a disaster after it was deregulated. Once profit became the priority then standards slipped and people switched to using cars as a more enjoyable form of transport. Myself included.

    I'd suggest we renationalise public transport and provide a service worthy of a developed Western country, something similar to the French model would suffice.

    -------------------------

    Your right about the costs being restrictive and cheaper fuel would allow more people to drive and so produces a lot of benefits to our economy. Buses are worthless to our economy and while they can be improved, the improvement will never rival cars.

    As for pollution you point out a serious problem. Buses are very inefficient and wasteful. A car travels from A to B which cuts travel time drasticly. A bus is only efficient for the few times in the day that they are full. Otherwise it is pushing more pollution than cars!

    Maybe a new system could be developed to remove buses but promote people giving lifts. With home delivery and home visits from doctors there is a vast improvement for people struggling to reach the shops. And so with cheaper driving costs this could be made even more accessable!

    If you want to fix polution problems then you will be campaigning against windfarms and electric cars.

    Also there is the possibility of solar panels on the moon which could support our global need without polution. Only heard about it yesterday (BBC program on IPlayer) but sounds interesting.

    However relying on the public transport model without realising how much it costs for the vast amount of waste, maybe we would be better off subsidising home bound people using taxi's

  • Comment number 92.

    Aren't we paying carbon taxes for precisely this kind of thing? I seem to remember that this was one of the reasons why they were introduced, this and saving the polar bears from the reports by both the BBC and ITV from icebreakers in the Arctic a few years back. If not then are green taxes now going to be just another cash cow for the Treasury?

  • Comment number 93.

    SOME form of public transport is necessary, but buses clearly are not fit for purpose, especially in rural areas (or people would use them) and haven't been for years. It would make sense if local people were allowed to organise their own service (Big Society!!), using their own cars, on a small profit basis. Stay at home people could run the service from home, help others out and keep a small fee without running the risk of prosecution from some local council busy body health and safety nitwit. But of course, local council's have a vested interest in keeping everything complicated, expensive and under their own control - so it won't happen any time soon.

  • Comment number 94.

    Remember child hood obesity? The population is 50% overweight surly making people walk a few miles is a good thing, good for you, good for congestion, reduces co2 emission, better air quality and reduces the burden on the NHS.

  • Comment number 95.

    "How important is your local bus service"? is the HYS question.

    1) If you work irregular shifts in emergency services or hospitals - bus timetables are pointless. Furthermore, safety on all public transport for shift workers are unreliable and very unsafe at certain times.
    2) Why do buses in rural areas have to be so huge - or is that question too obvious?
    3) In fact, why do buses have to be so huge in cities too?
    4) Smaller buses with an 'old-fashioned' bus conductor with a video cam might instill confidence of the law-abiding public to use buses more often?
    5) The same could be said for the London Underground - poorly policed and under-staffed in all areas, at all times? Video cams for staff on the London Underground. CCTV on stations is too random. Obvious cctv in all carriages would be beneficial for commuters.

  • Comment number 96.

    Local service is pointless to me. It takes me from where I am not to where I don't want to be.
    Park and ride service is excellent though.

  • Comment number 97.

    Boz Scaggs wrote:
    31. At 12:21pm on 03 Feb 2011, Tio Terry wrote:
    19. At 12:01pm on 03 Feb 2011, Brianlancashire wrote:
    Buses are not important to me - however they are heavily used by those which this government is determined to neglect - namely the young and the elderly.

    -----------------------------------------------------------
    As it's your local council that has taken the decision to reduce services (assuming it has) it's not central governments fault.

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    But where do you think the local authority gets the money from in the first place (or rather doesn't get it due to cuts in LA funding)? Central government, my friend. All council tax and local business rates collected by LAs goes to central government who thyen decide how much to return in the form of grants. If central govt cut the grants the LA has nno choice but cut services. A neat way for central govt to pass the buck making it appear to be the fault of you local authority. And a ruse you've swallowed hook line and sinker. Dave must be delighted!

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    Local councils don't want to cut sensibly. They want to cut that which will cause the most outcry in the hope that this will prevent any cuts at all. They still employ too many people in non-jobs, relatives of theirs on over inflated wages and pointless management. The best bit is it is blindingly obvious what they are up to and yet some people have completely fallen for it. Ed must be rubbing his little red book in delight.

  • Comment number 98.

    I tried a bus last week for the first time in about 12 years. I waited 25 mins in a freezing bus stop at 4.15 on a weekday. The driver was pleasant, but the jolting from the journey aggravated my sore back, and I am still feeling discomfort now.

    Will I have another go. Dont think so

  • Comment number 99.

    1. At 11:41am on 03 Feb 2011, Mike from Brum wrote:

    Not been on a bus for 20 years. Last time I used one it cost a fortune and was disgustingly unclean. The ones in Brum are poorly maintained too; many have baldy tyres. I'd rather walk (and frequently do) than have to take a West Midlands bus.
    -----------------------------------------------
    20 years ago you say..? What about now?

  • Comment number 100.

    48. At 12:41pm on 03 Feb 2011, gee4444 wrote:
    11. At 11:57am on 03 Feb 2011, Monogram wrote:
    Now ther is a surprise, instead of cutting the thousnads of non-jobs created by NU-labour councils have decided to cut services to the you, the elderly and the vulnerable. Thre is no necessity to cut bus routes. Aren't local and cetral government alwasy bleating we should use public transport to help the environment, when it comes to non-jobs and cuts the necessary services are the first to go. No change there then.

    --------------------------------------------------------

    I see you're adopting the Tory handbook guide to blame local councils for cuts and absolve central government of all responsibility. Well done, Cammers will be proud.

    Anyway, a lot of these rural bus services are not cost efficient. Why should I as a tax payer fund a service which isn't utilised efficiently? (I've been waiting to say that for ages).

    So a few people may have to walk 40 miles to and from the shops, it's all part of 'we're all in this together'. As value for money is the mantra bleated out by the HYS Tory fans then surely they have nothing to complain about. You'll just have to suck it up like the rest of us.

    If it's party led council decisions you'd like to discuss then may I offer up Surrey - Tory controlled - cuts per person of approx 9 pounds per head. A Labour council in the North East has a rate of 80 pounds approx cut per person. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Interesting.

    ==========================================
    gee4444
    So what happened increases in council tax in 1997 to 2009 then? Tory areas went up by 30% in one year and 10% the next then 9% after that,it wasn't till people start to shout how unfair it is that labout put a 5% cap (that was nice considering inflation was 2% at the time). Not all tory voters are multi-millionairs most are normal hardworking people who work hard for social mobility.

 

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