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Your Borough Of Poole
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Bus Subsidies - Consultation

Why are bus routes subsidised?

Why do council savings affect buses?

Current Proposed Bus Subsidy Reductions 2016/17

Consultation on these proposals ran from 3rd October for six weeks to 13th November 2016. The results are now being considered and Councillors will decide in February 2017 which proposals will go ahead.  The changes will be made from May (or July) 2017.

Passenger boarding a Wilts & Dorset bus

Why are bus routes subsidised?

The majority of bus routes in Poole are operated without the need for subsidy. However, services with fewer passengers such as many of those that operate at the weekend, during the evenings or away from busy roads, require financial support from us to be viable. Last year we spent £700,000 subsidising bus services in the borough.

Why do council savings affect buses?

Borough of Poole faces a very challenging financial situation. Rising costs, increased demand and cuts in government funding means the Council has to save around £11.5 million over the next three years to balance its budget. As part of our efforts to save money, we are reviewing the Council’s budget for subsidising bus services.

We are looking to save £200,000 over the next two years from the Council’s budget for bus subsidies. As a result, we are reviewing the provision of some subsidised journeys on certain Monday to Saturday daytime and school bus routes.This consultation is an opportunity for you to have your say on the proposals.

In the past, changes have had little or no impact on most bus passengers because Poole and Bournemouth councils have a good working relationship with the local bus companies. All parties have invested in improvements to support bus passengers and encourage more bus use. As a result, Poole and Bournemouth have experienced the largest increase in bus patronage in the country over the last decade.

Poole’s main bus company, morebus, have contributed significantly to this by reducing prices on a number of contracts without changes to routes or timetables. This makes Poole different to many areas in the country that have experienced huge reductions in service following the withdrawal of council subsidy.

Current Proposed Bus Subsidy Reductions 2016/17

Certain Monday to Saturday day-time and school bus routes currently receiving subsidies are being reviewed for possible reduction or withdrawal. Potential savings of up to £150,000 have been identified with the view of achieving a target saving of £100,000.

Six subsidised bus routes have been identified for consideration. More information on these routes is available to download from the right of this page.  Consultation is now closed.

Route 18 (Monday to Saturday)
Broadstone – Canford Heath – Upper Parkstone – Bournemouth
Proposal: Removal of the Broadstone loop to achieve a saving of £19,500 per annum.

Route 20 (Monday to Saturday)
Poole – Lilliput – Penn Hill – Bournemouth – Castlepoint
Proposal: Reduction in frequency to two-hourly service…  Option 1 with the morning peak return journey to save £16,800 per annum and Option 2 without the morning peak return journey to save £18,900 per annum. 

Route 26 (Monday to Saturday)
Poole – Boscombe via Oakdale and the University
Proposal: To withdraw the section of the route around Fern Barrow to save £14,300 per annum. 

Route 128 (Monday to Saturday)
Poole – Stanley Green – Creekmoor – Upton Country Park – Upton
Proposal: To withdraw the 128 route and partially replace it with a revised Service 10 to save £10,000 per annum.

Route 445 (School days)
Bearwood / Merley – Allenbourn School
Proposal: To increase the fares or to withdraw the service to achieve a saving of £7,500 per annum or £27,700 per annum.

Route 744 (School days)
Old Town – Oakdale Junior School
Proposal: To increase the fares or to withdraw the service to achieve a saving of £3,750 per annum or £9,900 per annum.

Additionally, negotiated price reductions on a range of evening and Sunday contracts without changes to routes or timetables will achieve a saving of more than £52,000.