Some of you may have read my previous threads regarding bus services etc. that are useful to students at The U of H, and my mentioning the possibility of further reductions and cuts following Hertfordshire County Council`s ( HCC) decision to cut funding by £700,000 - £ 887,000 in 2015-16 for non-commercial routes, and more to come in 2017-18, of which quite a few will effect students:
At an HCC meeting regarding the above held on Tuesday 08 July, it was proposed to withdraw funding for all non-commercial ( i.e. those which are not run as stand-alone profit making by the bus companies) bus services from 18.30 Mon Sats inclusive, all day Sundays and I assume, though at present cannot confirm, also bank holidays as these normally run to a Sunday service.
This will equate to around 30-40 routes, and in Welwyn Hatfield alone could well lead to the loss or the very least the severe reduction of the later evening 301, UNO 602, 653, 700 and on Sundays/ bank holidays the 242, 404/405/700.
Exceptions- for the time being at least- are those services which are funded by the council but originate from another source such as estate developer contributions and direct goverment grants which is why I can only think this is the reason the UNO 600 /650 /607/601 have escaped the axe or had a stay of execution.
For the full list of routes and services in the frame Google in Hertfordshire County Council / Highways and Waste Management Panel meeting 08 July 2014/ Item 10 / Review of bus service budget.
HCC also mentions it is engaging in a `public engagement process` for this go to www.hertsdirect.org/bus
However this as it stands has to completed by midnight on 30th Sept or 08th Oct (depending on which site you read!) so it does`nt exactly give any time to U of H students on annual leave or the Freshers starting next term to peruse and complete - something I pointed out to the U of H SU when I called in and spoke to them.
Hertfordshire is one of the top of the league of `shire` counties in reductions to funding for bus services relative to 2010- so to bore you with some statistics; from £6,289,000 in 2011, reduced down to £4,374,000 in 2013, another £200,000 in 2014, now with a proposed £700,000- £887,000 in 2015-16. Kent on the other hand, a county not unlike Herts, has actually increased service funding by 13% .
As said in my previous article re the Hatfield station lift (now working!) Steven Giles Medhurst, LD MP for Watford & Oxhey and a County Councillor who is on the Highways Panel himself, has after much arm twisting, obtained figures from HCC which contradict those put in their own survey: 30 odd,not 25 % of services as originally put in their survey could be effected: 809,300 pasenger journeys not 200,000 pa: and the maximum subsidy HCC provides is for one route one return trip only, the once weekly 334 Puckeridge-Cambridge, the median being around £1or so, the lowest 8p.
HCC and the various bus companies are I understand to consult over considering where possible and only if commercially viable, some routes may retain a limited service, but nothing decided or confirmed as yet.
That is why I would strongly suggest you all participate in the survey and pass the message on to your friends/ colleagues etc. And if you feel strongly enough, sign the on line petition at Herts County Council- petitions- stop the bus cuts ( sorry can`t get the direct link to kick in.)
... and the ones that won't