Seems B&NES and Wiltshire councils have got together to send an email to the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, Richard Holden MP, “to request that the government lobby the West of England Combined Authority Mayor, Dan Norris, to release Bus Service Improvement Plan funds, to support the comprehensive and costed rural bus plan we have sent him.”
The email – written by the Leader of B&NES, Cllr Kevin Guy – continues:
“Our neighbouring authorities in Wiltshire, Somerset & North Somerset have all used BSIP money for its original purpose which was to improve and enhance bus use, especially in rural areas.
Unfortunately, the WECA Mayor, Dan Norris, has spent tens of millions on both his failing DRT scheme and his vanity Birthday Bus scheme instead of saving rural bus routes.
Hopefully, the Government can step in and apply the appropriate pressure before any more vulnerable rural residents are left isolated while Dan Norris eats Birthday cake on a busy bus route in Bristol.”
In response to the above, Mayor Dan Norris said: “It is the responsibility of local authorities to fund council-supported buses. I am proud of the investment I have secured which is being used to try to increase passenger numbers with fare offers including the £2 maximum ticket for a single, and innovative ideas like free travel for a month through Birthday Buses, designed to change people’s travel behaviour long term.
Please apply at birthdaybus.co.uk. Only if we encourage new people to use buses will we have a viable transport system long-term, which in turn will mean less pressure on council budgets to support non-profitable routes.”