Friday, November 21, 2008

Whippet Bus 114

I've been looking into the arrangements for Whippet bus service 114 - which always causes a large number of complaints when I speak to residents on Lichfield Rd. No-one can understand why such large, noisy buses are run down a small residential road - particularly as they don't appear to be very well used.

It appears the situation is complicated to say the least - Whippet run the basic service (hourly) on a commercial basis. The County Council contributes to run a tendered service hourly during the week, and the City Council contributes some funds to allow the route to operate half hourly on Saturdays. On the figures I've been told, the average subsidy per passenger on the tendered service is about £3 - although I don't know how this works out, as presumably if there was no tendered service at all, some of the passengers using the half hourly service would just use the hourly service that is run on a commercial basis.

The good news is that the County Council is retendering the service in April, and I have requested that they also ask for tender offers to operate the service in smaller, quieter buses that have low level access that would be better appreciated by some Lichfield Road residents - although these tender offers are expected to be higher. When the offers come in, we can see what the best solution is for taxpayers and Lichfield Road residents.

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