Fewer buses on the same routes as Hampshire cuts £1.1m from transport subsidy

BUSY Buses in Fareham bus station
BUSY Buses in Fareham bus station

Man’s horror fall onto M27 near Whiteley stuns witnesses

0
Have your say

A REPORT has revealed where the axe could fall on bus services across Hampshire.

The county council spends £6.7m a year subsidising less profitable bus services.

It needs to save £1.1m of this from October to the end of next March.

The authority has consulted the public, holding meetings and sending out 5,000 questionnaires, and council officers have now produced a report proposing a number of services be reduced, including eight routes in Fareham, Gosport and Havant.

The report – which has yet to be approved – suggests timetables will be reduced on Fareham and Gosport’s number 26, 28, 36, and 63, the 35 no longer run and the 88 will not operate in the evening.

In Havant the 30 and 31 will be reduced and 38 and 138 will both stop, being replaced with a taxi-share system.

The report says: ‘The public consultation revealed strong preferences for the retention of traditional bus services, with reduced frequency if that was the consequence, but maintaining the current bus network where possible rather than reducing to a core “hub and spoke” model.’

The move comes after the government announced it was to cut funding to the county council for transport by £544,000 – a third of its former grant.

The report states: ‘The reduction in Government funding, especially Rural Bus Subsidy Grant, has meant that less money is available to support subsidised bus services.

‘Reduced funding has been allocated proportionately across all areas.’

If approved at an environment and transport select committee meeting next Wednesday, the changes will take place from October.

AFFECTED SERVICES

· 26/28 Fareham-Hedge End/Whiteley/Locks Heath: reduced timetable, little-used commercial section to Fareham Community Hospital withdrawn.

· 33/35 Fareham Stubbington: 35 withdrawn but hourly 33 via Newgate Lane remains.

· 36 Lee-on-the-Solent-Fareham: reduced afternoon timetable.

· 63 Fareham-Havant: first and last Saturday journeys withdrawn.

· 88 Fareham-Stokes Bay-Gosport: evening journeys withdrawn.

· 30/31 Havant-Hayling Island: 9.40 and 10.40pm evening journeys withdrawn.

· 38/138 Waterlooville/Cosham-Fareham: replace with taxi-share.

· 69 Fareham-Winchester: operator to add journeys to commercial weekday service. Supported Sunday service to be withdrawn due to low use.