WITHDRAWAL OF NUMBER 9 SATURDAY BUS SERVICE
Changes to supported bus services this August
Four bus services which are supported by the taxpayer are set to cease on 27 August 2017.
Essex County Council has consulted with thousands of residents over the past year on how best to allocate £8 million of taxpayers' money to support essential bus services across the county.
The result has been a consistent approach to ensure bus services do not cost the taxpayer more than £5 for every journey made.
This means a number of services have had to be redesigned or where no affordable option was available these services have been withdrawn.
The four low use services for which are set to be withdrawn from 27 August are:
- the number 9 Saturday service (from Great Bardfield to Braintree)
- the number 250 Monday - Saturday evening service (from Waltham Cross to Debden)
- the number 251 Monday - Saturday evening service (from Waltham Cross to Upshire)
- the D6 Monday - Friday commuter service (from Southminster to Althorne)
Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for Passenger Transport, said: "Like all local authorities, Essex is facing strong financial pressures and has to think very carefully about how it delivers the best value for the taxpayer. We have spoken to residents over the past year about how best to spend the money we have to support essential bus services.
“During this latest redesign we found that supporting some less well used bus services could have resulted in taxpayers contributing more than the price of a flight to Lanzarote each time somebody used the bus. That is clearly not sustainable in the long term.
“The good news is that this was true of very few services as most services are well used and supported by their communities.
“Therefore we have taken a consistent approach to redesign supported bus services and timetables across the county to ensure they do not cost the taxpayer more than £5 for each trip made.
"In a number of rural areas we are introducing innovative solutions like Demand Responsive Transport which offer a more flexible and sustainable service that can be booked in advance.
“Removal of bus services costing more than £5 per journey has always been a last resort and in cases where we have had to do this we have looked to explore all options to create a workable alternative and to reduce the impact on local communities before making the decision.”
Essex County Council