Held 8th January. PRESENT: 40 members of public. James Freeman, MD First Bus West Of England 2 senior managers. Andy Strong, B&NES Bus officer. West of England Mayor. B&NES leader and other Cllr.
First Bus took the decision on the 179 because they used to have 2 buses running in opposite direction, an hourly service, costing approx. £400K a year to run, but only took £80k in fares. So decided to have only one bus, making it a 2 hour service Mon- Fri. But they are still making a loss.
B&NES confirmed that no other bus company was willing to take on the route, and Arleen aren’t covering their costs on the Saturday service.
Public pointed out that the bus times weren’t adeqaute, also that the withdrawal of the 10 ride ticket ( replaced by either a weekly ticket or using a smart phone) First said that they were willing to tweak times, provided it’s possible. There is a solution to the multi-ticket problem for people who don’t have smart phones etc.
Conclusion that the 179 will close end August and so Parish Councils will have to set up a community bus with some Clutton money, perhaps money from West of England, perhaps as feeder into First Bus services.
Tunley meeting 10th January.
5+ Parish Council working parties meeting on 22nd January in Timsbury to get process going with so far 2 active Timsbury residents.