Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Stagecoach Should Explain Decision to Reduce Bus Services

Edward Leigh MP has called on Stagecoach Lincolnshire to explain to local people the company’s decision to cut services along the number 3 route from Lincoln to Grimsby, which serves Nettleham, Dunholme and Welton.

Our local Member of Parliament, has responded to the significant change to the Number 3 service from Monday 2 April 2012. Which will include the loss of an hourly connecting bus service between the south east and north east of the Gainsborough Constituency during the daytime. Through journeys will now end during the middle part of the day with the last through departures from Lincoln and Grimby at 8:40am and not resuming until 1:40pm.

Stagecoach have admitted that they are eliminating less economical services because of the Department of Transport’s twenty percent reduction in the Bus Service Operators Grant, equivalent to an additional 39p to the cost of a gallon of diesel. But talk of local authority intervention might be overly optimistic, given the £1.3m savings to the county transport budget and the need to find £125m in savings to put the County Council budget on an even keel. Edward Leigh said:
"I am relieved that the cut to the Number 3 service won’t be as deep as originally proposed, but it is still regretful that those who will need to travel outside the peak period will have their options severely curtailed. 
"In rural parts of the country such as ours, providing connections by regular public transport is challenging, but important. I’m not convinced Stagecoach have made a proper case for curtailing the Number 3 service. This follows from their cuts to Sunday and Bank Holiday services from last year.
"This situation is the responsibility of the bus company, and I hope they find more imaginative ways of responding to public demand. They can’t solve their problems simply by demanding subsidies from taxpayers who are hard-pressed to make end’s meet already. All this underlines the overriding importance of cutting the vast deficit we have inherited from the previous government."

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