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Opinion : Should tax payers money be used to prop up underused bus services?

| July 12, 2019

Transport is an important part of modern life but surely there are limits when it comes to spending tax payers money propping up underused bus services?

My good self could not help but notice the article that appeared in the news section of this site recently entitled ‘New bus company to run long distance rural route 60 bus service serving villages to the north of Aylesbury.

It seems a new operator is to take over the long distance rural route 60 bus service in Aylesbury. According to the news article ‘The existing eight times a day subsidised Route 60 ….. carries between 30 and 40 passengers a day’.

On average that means each of the eight bus services carries just five passengers, most probably some of the services may well be empty for most of the time.

The news article goes on to say that ‘The service is one of 46 bus routes across Buckinghamshire that the County Council supports with a £1.8 million fund from local taxes to give access to local communities.

Yours truly was shocked to learn that £1.8m of money from local taxes is used to prop-up under used bus services throughout Buckinghamshire.

Is spending all this money really worth it?

If one decides to live in a rural setting then it should not come as a surprise that transport links will not be as good as in the towns. Indeed should someone who decides to live in the middle of nowhere and off the beaten track expect a bus service at their door, after all its their choice to live where they do?

Think of all the pollution the buses spew out as then meander through the country lanes. In the environmentally friendly age of today should buses be polluting the beautiful Buckinghamshire countryside with their exhaust fumes?

Would it not be better to spend the money improving the buses in the towns? Indeed in the past two days my good self has seen two broken down buses causing traffic jam chaos in High Wycombe.

The old clapped out buses that we have trundling around Wycombe are, in some cases, a disgrace and, from what my good self can see, urgently need replacing with more modern vehicles.

Rather than using the money to send virtually empty buses around distant villages why not send an extra dust cart to our houses in High Wycombe to restore weekly black bin collections? In my opinion it would be a better use of the tax payers money.

The £1.8m could be used for far better things such as to rejuvenate the Frogmoor area of Wycombe, ironing out the bumps and ruts that have formed in the cobbled surface of Wycombe High Street or even putting down some more yellow lines to stop vehicles parking beside the road and blocking the free flow of traffic.

The money could have been used to reopen the recycling centre at Bledlow that closed recently or to abolish the silly charges introduced recently for the disposal of certain items of waste at Buckinghamshire’s household recycling centres.

Surely tax payers money should be spent for the benefit of the many and not for the few? If someone decides to live in the middle of nowhere then should they not have to sort their own transport rather than expecting the rest of us to do it for them?

It sickens me to think that yours truly is working my fingers to the bone to earn money to pay the infernal Council Tax yet the great and the good are using the funds to send nearly empty buses to far flung places that nobody want to go to.

What do you think?

My blogs are published regularly here on the WycombeToday.com website.

You can also follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ivor.wycombe or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Ivor_Wycombe.

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