Whitchurch Forum

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Keith Watts on July 24, 2007, 06:04:43 pm



Title: Evening buses cut
Post by: Keith Watts on July 24, 2007, 06:04:43 pm
Evening bus services on route 76 through Whitchurch will be cut when the new timetable applies in September / October.  This is the result of a decision made today by the Executive Member for Environment at Hampshire County Council.

The services to be cut will be the 20.45 and 23.40 to Andover and the 19.27 and 22.22 to Basingstoke, Monday to Saturday.

The Friday & Saturday services at 22.15 to Andover and at 20.57 to Basingstoke will continue.

regards

Keith


Title: Re: Evening buses cut
Post by: thewhitorg on July 24, 2007, 08:06:11 pm
This is important news for Whitchurch - why is it that it is only being made known "after the event"?


Title: Re: Evening buses cut
Post by: kot on July 24, 2007, 11:17:27 pm
Quote from: thewhitorg on July 24, 2007, 08:06:11 pm
This is important news for Whitchurch - why is it that it is only being made known "after the event"?


Quite. Consultation with local people doesn't seem to be an item politicians consider.

And let's be honest about this. It means Whitchurch will have NO weekday evening buses.
This is devastation. We cannot visit our main towns for the services, events and facilities WE PAY FOR through ever increasing community charges and taxes.

This means the last weekday buses are:

Whitchurch to Basingstoke: 1827, (was 1927 and 2222) 
Basingstoke to Whitchurch: now 1910, (was 2010 and 2305)
Whitchurch to Andover: now 2011 (was 2045 and 2340)
Andover to Whitchurch: 1810, (was 1910 and 2205)

This will hit the youth hardest.
The young will leave as soon as they can, and the Town will die a lingering death.
Why run a business here when the future generations will be leaving.

Well done all concerned  >:(


Title: Re: Evening buses cut
Post by: dave on July 26, 2007, 10:21:48 am
Hi
Would you please let us know what actions you took to try to stop this cut?

Thanks

David


Title: Re: Evening buses cut
Post by: thewhitorg on July 26, 2007, 03:37:27 pm
Dave,

The saga to date is on www.76bus.org.uk (http://www.76bus.org.uk) - basically no action has been taken because I only found out just before the decision meeting took place - that's why I asked why no one had been informed - my email to our County Councillor on the subject remains unanswered.

We are therefore only left with damage limitation in the form of a protest to get the decision revoked. I believe this requires a vote by the full council. I am looking to get support from Whitchurch, Hurstbourne Priors and Overton, all of which are affected

Phil


Title: Re: Evening buses cut
Post by: dave on July 26, 2007, 03:46:45 pm
Hi
I have also emailed our County Coucillor, lest see if he bothers to answer me.

Dave


Title: Re: Evening buses cut
Post by: thewhitorg on July 30, 2007, 04:02:35 pm
Holding your breath whilst waiting for a reply could prove fatal!!

Phil


Title: Re: Evening buses cut
Post by: Keith Watts on August 04, 2007, 12:02:09 pm
The evening buses will NOT now be cut because Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council decided at a meeting on Tuesday to step in to fund the service for the rest of this Financial Year and probably until July 2008.  This decision had the support of all political groups on the Council. 

The Borough Council will be carrying out a comprehensive review of public transport before the new funding arrangement expires.  I will notify this forum when the opportunity for public input is known.

The reason that this thread was started so late is that the County Council only gave six days notice of the decision being taken and I publicised it through other channels until John Buckley reminded me of this one.

Please note that Hampshire County Council is the Passenger Transport Authority, the Borough Council is using discretionary powers to alleviate the situation, as it did for the Sunday bus service two years ago, but this cannot go on being repeated - by far the largest part of our Council Tax goes to the County Council.

John B has suggested that we form a local Passenger Forum.  Any volunteers to do some work on that?

regards

Keith


Title: Re: Evening buses cut
Post by: thewhitorg on August 04, 2007, 07:54:23 pm
I've had a wee while to think about the latest postings on this thread and Traffic Calming/ Speed Bumps.

If there is such a head of steam about these transport related issue why not combine them using the vehicle (no pun intended) of the Whitchurch Association Transport Action Plan Group.

The Action Plan has always been and should be dynamic so adding to/modifying the direction of the work is logical. The group has a "legal" status it is part of a recognised charity. It can operate as in integral part of the WA, or if it wants to really use its clout, it can become a section.

Forming another group or groups (one for transport users and another to look at speed related issues) is fragmentary utilising an existing organisation whose aims include to:

a) Promote the benefit of the inhabitants of  the parish of Whitchurch and the surrounding hamlets of Litchfield, Woodcott, Tufton, Dunley and Hurstbourne Priors (hereinafter called ‘the area of benefit’) without distinction of sex, sexual orientation, race or of political, religious or other opinions, by associating together the said inhabitants and the local authorities, voluntary and other organisations in a common effort to advance education and to provide facilities in the interests of social welfare for recreation and leisure-time occupation with the object of improving the conditions of life for the said inhabitants;

b) Secure the preservation, protection, development and improvement of features of  historic or public interest and to promote high standards of planning and architecture;

Additionally there are already communications streams set up in the form of the WA e.list, this forum and the 76bus website - or shall we set up an executive sub-committee to review and report back on the feasibility of inventing a wheel like object?

Phil

I'll copy this to the WA Committee


Title: Re: Evening buses cut
Post by: Keith Watts on August 05, 2007, 03:31:09 pm
I think there is a good case for a separate Passenger Transport Forum as suggested by John B, including:
• drawing in new people who are dependent on or enthusiasts for public transport
• recognition by public authorities and county or regional PT Fora
• aiming for mass membership - not compatible with Section Status in WA.
• possibly extending its membership to Laverstoke & Overton who share bus and rail routes with us

best wishes

Keith


Title: Re: Evening buses cut
Post by: thewhitorg on August 05, 2007, 03:58:12 pm
Keith,

I'm not aware of any size constraint on a WA Section or Action Plan Team.

The idea of yet another body trying to fight its particular corner when there is a suitable umbrella exists with the beginnings of a recognisable status seems strange - try looking at the Volunteers page on the website to see how many groups need support (and those are only the ones that I know of)


Title: Re: Evening buses cut
Post by: Keith Watts on August 05, 2007, 04:12:00 pm
Sections are comprised of Members of WA.


Title: Re: Evening buses cut
Post by: thewhitorg on August 06, 2007, 09:03:41 pm
So, join the WA and benefit from a discount on using the GNCH. Then maybe the WA can subsidise the Youth Club's use of the Hall!!


Title: Re: Evening buses cut
Post by: Daniel on August 08, 2007, 07:52:14 pm
Hello, I am Daniel. I am new in here. Well connected with Whitchurch. I tend to have some rather sharp views that don't always meet to peoples taste, so I apologise in advance if I ruffle any feathers.

With relation to the buses. I don't tend to think we should subsides services myself. However, I cannot see why a bus service from Andover to Basingstoke does not cover it's costs and I can't help but think that Stagecoach were not trying to hold the County & Local Council to ransom.

Perhaps if cuts were needed the evening/Sunday 76 could be re-routed to take up the Oakley portion of the route and they could have dropped the number '8' feeding Oakley. In honesty, and although it is not a specific Whitchurch issue (more an Overton Oakley one), it would be useful to re-route this bus through Oakley to allow easy commutes to the Overton/Oakley doctors. This would add around 10 minutes to the journey.

It looks like the danger is over for now as B&DBC have stepped in to cover the missing funding. However, with Oakley now feeding children into the excellent Testbourne - and with Countywide travel going down the pan, that extra bit of a route may be of benefit. I wonder what people here think?


Title: Re: Evening buses cut
Post by: thewhitorg on August 08, 2007, 08:04:37 pm
Daniel,

Your suggestion of combining the 76 and 8 routes, in the evenings at least, do seem to be logical.

Thanks for your input

Phil


Title: Re: Evening buses cut
Post by: Daniel on August 08, 2007, 08:11:16 pm
Quote from: thewhitorg on August 08, 2007, 08:04:37 pm
Daniel,
Your suggestion of combining the 76 and 8 routes, in the evenings at least, do seem to be logical.
Phil

Phil, I suspect that it comes down to money. How much would Stagecoach loose if they did what was logical ;-)


Title: Re: Evening buses cut
Post by: kot on August 10, 2007, 05:28:51 pm
Quote from: Keith Watts on August 05, 2007, 03:31:09 pm
I think there is a good case for a separate Passenger Transport Forum as suggested by John B, including:
• drawing in new people who are dependent on or enthusiasts for public transport
• recognition by public authorities and county or regional PT Fora
• aiming for mass membership - not compatible with Section Status in WA.
• possibly extending its membership to Laverstoke & Overton who share bus and rail routes with us

best wishes

Keith



There may be various forums available to discuss transport issues but it is very clear that no one is listening to the needs and suggestions of users, hence my suggestion for a local Passenger Transport Forum/ Users Group (or somesuch name).

Consultation with users, whether by local authorities, elected representatives or service providers is seriously lacking, and communication streams seem non-existent.

Initiatives like Save the 76, and single-issue petitions only go so far, but those of us who rely on and support public transport know the problems go much wider with a multitude of deeper issues.

But its not just the 76.
We must not forget the 86 Winchester service, the Community Bus, the Cango services, School Buses, Coaches, Taxis, and of course South West Trains. Then there are the other options such as Car-Sharing, Bike Pools, and Car Clubs. All have important places in providing transport solutions for a local community.

But no one consults with, or listens to the Users, least of all any of those who makes the decisions, and who also spend our taxes. Neither do the providers talk to each other, resulting in a hotch-potch of services that the User only discovers once introduced - or when a service is removed.

Just a few examples the type of questions that might arise are:

  • 1. Why won't Stagecoach Buses sell child return fares before 9am?

  • 2. Why cannot you buy a Family GroupSave ticket from the railway station when it is closed, without a risk of Penalty Fares?

  • 3. Why cannot more that three days notice be given of fare increases?

  • 4. Why won't National ExPress stop at Whitchurch (they used to)?

  • 5. Where is a comprehensive timetable available in the Town Centre?

  • (the latter is something I am considering setting up as a web-based resource for others to link to)
    ...and so on and so on!


My proposal was for a Public Meeting/Workshop (Passenger Transport Forum) to be a focus for those who rely on and regularly use PT, and also as a means of determining what issues concern local people the most and how they might be addressed. I suggest that this ties in closely to, and feeds into, the B&DBC review that Keith refers to.
I do not believe the WA Action Plan is the way to go - at least not initially. Their priorities should be HGVs, congestion, parking, and similar highway based activities. This is a very different kettle of fish.

A Passenger Transport Forum would be a separate, public-driven, highly-focussed, campaign group made up by users who want to be heard and their needs addressed. It could also link in to others who are also on the same routes who are affected, for example Overton.

I'm one of those Users. A car-free family by choice, and on most days my family and I use several trains, buses, cycles, and walking to move around the area. This is for both business and leisure.
But it all needs to join up and at the moment it doesn't.
And worse of all - no one communicates!

If anyone would like help to progress this please be in touch.
01256 892650 / 07963 237619
[email protected]

John B





Title: Re: Evening buses cut
Post by: thewhitorg on August 10, 2007, 10:51:27 pm
Daniel,

I would have thought that the review by BDBC could be used to push Stagecoach in the right direction - if the subsidy were made provisional upon the joining of the routes for the week day evening journeys - how do we inject this into BDBC's thinking Keith?

John,

If you are expecting great things to come of your call for those interested to be in touch then I fear you may be disappointed. What practcal steps do you propose to set up the forum?, which for some reason falls outside the remit of the WA which aims, inter alia, to "Promote the benefit of the inhabitants of  the parish of Whitchurch and the surrounding hamlets of Litchfield, Woodcott, Tufton, Dunley and Hurstbourne Priors ... ". Why those benefits are limited to some aspects of transport and not others I'm not not quite sure. I believe somewhere on the web there may be blueprints for the construction of round objects that can be used on vehicles (these may save time in the reinvention process!)

Phil


Title: Re: Evening buses cut
Post by: thewhitorg on August 12, 2007, 04:36:55 pm
e-mail from Maria.

I have just received this email and invited Maria to joint the board

There is no one who understands the plight of passengers, better than bus users themselves.  We experience the anxiety and frustration of wasted journeys, journeys fraught with unpleasant incidents and rudeness. 

Those who make the decisions for us do not consider us. I am sure that they have never used a public bus service.  If they were to do so, by using the very buses we have to use, for a year, it would give them sufficient time to experience all the grief we have to endure.  I can guarantee that only then, would the situation change drastically  overnight.

I have retained for future reference, letters written during the last few years, outlining  incidents and grievances I have experienced. Letters addressed to Stagecoach, my MP, local Councillor, The Andover Advertiser and various other relevant personnel, who have done nothing to make the situation better for us. In fact some have not even had the decency to acknowledge these letters.  Could a meeting be arranged, whereby we, the passengers who have no other means of transport, can make our point by giving our personal experiences to you first hand.  After all, we are the discriminated casualties of a dying service.


Title: Re: Evening buses cut
Post by: Daniel on August 12, 2007, 05:07:12 pm
This made me giggle: http://www.brighton-hill.co.uk/pigandwhistle/viewtopic.php?t=190


Title: Re: Evening buses cut
Post by: kot on August 12, 2007, 09:26:07 pm
Quote from: Maria
(e-mail from Maria).
There is no one who understands the plight of passengers, better than bus users themselves.  We experience the anxiety and frustration of wasted journeys, journeys fraught with unpleasant incidents and rudeness. 
Those who make the decisions for us do not consider us. I am sure that they have never used a public bus service.


Oh how true.
Quote:
Could a meeting be arranged, whereby we, the passengers who have no other means of transport, can make our point by giving our personal experiences to you first hand.  After all, we are the discriminated casualties of a dying service.


Maria, give me a call on 01256 892650 or e-mail me, [email protected]

I am hoping that just such a meeting can be arranged in the Autumn.
There are already several people interested.
Someone needs to listen to the Users.

John B


Title: Re: Evening buses cut
Post by: thewhitorg on August 16, 2007, 02:16:50 pm
I've just received a copy of an HCC letter to the Town Council with a questionnaire dated 20 June and a response date of 20 Aug, I’m asking for a delay.

Strangely (given our current thread), the letter saying that HCC is "carrying out a scrutiny review of the effectiveness of passenger transport service in meeting community needs".

The questionnaire is below - question 1 is very apposite!!!

HAMPSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL: ENVIRONMENT AND TRANSPORTATION SELECT COMMITTEE

SCRUTINY REVIEW: TRANSPORT IN THE COMMUNITY
BASINGSTOKE AND DEANE

The 'Transport in the Community' scrutiny review group is interested in your views about the following questions.

1. How does public opinion feed into the monitoring and review of subsidised bus services and community transport, in Basingstoke and Deane?
(The review group is interested in the extent to which the public has a voice in the ongoing monitoring and review of subsidised transport services. This may have involved you in one or more of the following: customer feedback surveys, comments or complaints systems, focus groups, annual evaluation, service development planning etc. The group is also interested in your views about the strengths and weaknesses of getting your voice heard)

2. What partnership working is taking place in Basingstoke and Deane in relation to responding to gaps between identified transport needs and current service provision, including when these are cross boundary?
(The scrutiny of transport in the community is looking at what progress is being   made by Hampshire County Council and partners in identifying and dealing with gaps in passenger transport services in respect of their ability to meet community needs; those needs would include being able to access healthcare, employment, education and training, shopping and leisure. To undertake this, working with partner organisations and community groups is essential. The review group is interested in being clearer about what partnership working you have been involved in, or know about, as well as your views about this )

3. Are there particular population groups, associated with age, disability etc or economic groupings such as job seekers and young people in training, for whom addressing gaps is problematic?
(The review group is aware that there has been a Hampshire County Council initiated review of the community's different needs for transport in Basingstoke and Deane. What the group would like your help in understanding better is whether there are particular groups in the local population for whom bridging the gaps presents a challenge; and if you think that there are, what these challenges might be, and how you see them being dealt with)

4. Are commercial and non commercial transport services (such as rail, bus, coach, community and demand responsive transport, and Hampshire County Council transport) co-ordinated in your area?
(The review group is interested in what could be done to achieve more effective use of different kinds of passenger transport, for example to avoid empty seats, overlapping services etc. It assumes that there is work ongoing in respect of this and is looking to find out how well this coordination works, from your point of view. The group would also be interested in any views you have about how this could be improved).

The document has been scanned to produce the above, I hope there are no errors in it.

Any input from anyone??

Phil


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