Monday, 2 May 2011

"Make it so"

Someone said to me recently that they would support any party that could get the buses to stop near their house. It would be nice if local politicians could be helpful, but can it be done? One problem is that now, thanks to Margaret Thatcher’s deregulation, bus services are supplied by a variety of private companies. The county council has a transport policy, and it can influence these companies in various ways, such as with subsidies, but the days when the council could be like Captain Jean-Luc Picard, saying “make it so” are gone. Another problem is that we might be able to do more with more county councillors, so it’s unfortunate that there are no county council elections this year.

Most bus services are commercial, operated by the private companies to make a profit. The local authority does however have the power to provide local bus services, in order to fill any significant gaps. This will normally be done by entering into a contract and paying a commercial operator to provide the service. We will bring requests to the attention of the county council, and use any means of persuasion that we can, but especially in the current economic climate we won’t always succeed. This is one of those cases where all we can promise is that we’ll do our best.

Change the world

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