The long running saga of local bus routes has finally moved forward. Test Valley’s scrutiny panel has reported back on its consultations on changes to exisitng bus routes. This investigation was prompted by a motion I and Cllr Mike McGarry submitted to council in January. The panel’s findings, endorsed by the full scrutiny committee, were as follows
- Hampshire County Council funding for local buses did increase, but not by enough to maintain the existing services. Consultation did take place on this but in this particular case it had shortcomings.
- Changes to services were made, some acceptable to residents and some not. Hampshire County Council and
Test Valley Borough Council officers to be requested to monitor these changes and modify or augment services where possible. This could include an extension of the taxi share service.
- There may be some scope for introducing evening and Sunday services on some routes and officers were requested to investigate further.
- Council Officers to be requested to provide a written report back to the Committee in January 2011 on the long term effect of the current changes and other matters raised by the Panel.
In short the changes to services were badly handled and some residents have lost out. However there is a commitment to looking at reviewing the changes to resolve this. Also promising is the news that there may be scope to introduce evening or Sunday services on some routes. I look forward to this being pursued.