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    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.)

    Comments welcome.
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    (Original post by UnclePete)
    I would strongly suggest you all participate in the survey and pass the message on to your friends/ colleagues etc.
    Where is this survey? I couldn't see it on the page you linked.

    Removing the late 301s would be very, very annoying. I already have to go home earlier than I want, now I guess I'd be going several hours earlier.
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    (Original post by xDave-)
    Where is this survey? I couldn't see it on the page you linked.

    Removing the late 301s would be very, very annoying. I already have to go home earlier than I want, now I guess I'd be going several hours earlier.
    xDave-
    The survey website address referred to I obtained from the Herts County Council report as mentioned above, fifth paragraph, which you can view online yourself - I have a paper copy in front of me as I write this. The online questionare/ survey www.hertsdirect.org/bus is now live - I`ve just checked it out. I rang HCC yesterday and I think there was a delay in communication between the report being released and IT support being informed.

    Keep in mind that the closing date for the survey as it currently stands is midnight 30th Sept. I have already contacted the SU folk by e-mail who I know quite well, and advised them to contact HCC direct - Executive member for all this is Cllr Terry Douris by the way, whose patch is Hemel Hempstead, to remind them that it could be an unbalanced result as the U of H term time starts only just before or the same day as the survey has to be completed, resulting in students who use the services effected not having chance for their say.

    Something else to think about is the knock on effect it could have on commercial services that run, say, out as a commercial service, then either fully or partially returning as an HCC one, or a `split` route ( ie single journey half-one route number commercial, then the other half another HCC supported.)

    If the bus companies deem them to be barely profitable and only kept afloat by HCC support it is possible these could be cut short or go as well. And remember the BSOG ( Bus Service Operator`s Grant) which central goverment gives to bus companies to offset costs itself has been cut by 20-30% in the last few years, so with other increased overheads, such as fuel price increases and insurance, all adds up in their decision to run or retain a commercial service.

    It is imperative that as many as possible input to the survey- `people-power`can make a difference, as was the case with the proposed incinerator in New Barnfield, South Hatfield which was overturned by a senior Central Goverment inspector.

    My hunch is that HCC will have to settle for a compromise, I`ve already noticed understandable adverse reactions as I travel around and look at the various bus user groups on line.

    I don`t think for one moment HCC are doing this with any glee - their hand has been forced in many ways by Central Goverment funding reductions of 43% to local authorities; more than twice the level of cuts to Goverment as a whole ( source- `The Independent`, 11 Dec 2013, headlines and page 5, plus various websites). However some counties allocate more funding for bus services than others, Kent, which is not a disimilar county in many ways to Herts, for example. You will have noticed on the survey HCC are asking for people`s opinions as to how much - or less -of the cake they should cut off for bus service funding.
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    Hi. Take it you've seen Uno's new bus prices for September this year? I've been using them for 3 years to get to West Herts in Watford and it's gone up every single year so far :-/
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    (Original post by myles45)
    Hi. Take it you've seen Uno's new bus prices for September this year? I've been using them for 3 years to get to West Herts in Watford and it's gone up every single year so far :-/
    I certainly have- it`s simply a question of increased overheads and decreases in funding support working through- and it won`t stop there. Incidentally Arriva have also just `revised` as they politely like to put it their fare tariff as well, so I`m sure the likes of Centrebus and so on will follow suit.

    UNO are also stopping their day ticket (up to four people can travel anywhere on the UNO network after 09.30 weekdays, no restriction weekends/bank holidays) as from 31 Aug, which is the starting date of the new fare structure. You will now have to use the more expensive Hertfordshire Explorer (£12.50) although one advantage of this is that it is not restricted to just one bus company.
 
 
 
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