Wellington to Taunton bus provision "not good enough", councillors claim

Somerset County Gazette: Bus provision between Wellington and Taunton has come under scrutiny. Bus provision between Wellington and Taunton has come under scrutiny.

CALLS have been made to improve public transport between Wellington and Taunton after it was labelled “not good enough.”

Cllr Andrew Govier believes people are put off visiting the towns – two of only three in Taunton Deane – because the last bus to Wellington leaves Taunton at 8pm, even at weekends.

He said: “We are concerned that the last bus back to Wellington leaves Taunton bus station this early. This means that people looking to access either work or leisure activities in Taunton after this time need to get taxis back to town.

“We think this is really not good enough for a town of our size and we are looking at ways to improve the service.

“It seems that we have far too many buses in the day time when we have up to five an hour just from First. We also have a regular service from WebberBus during the day.”

Cllr Govier’s claims come as Somerset County Council plans to axe the Slinky service, which runs after 6pm.

The council said the demand res-ponse service is not well used and could be withdrawn.

Cllr Govier said: “They say the service isn’t being used but our contention was how well is it advertised and is there some way it could be redeployed to boost the service into and back from Taunton later in the evenings.

“We were suggesting that, even if there was one other bus later in the evening back from Taunton, people could plan to be there for that time.”

Fellow Wellington and county councillor Ross Henley said county hall cuts in funding have caused “real hardship”.

He said: “I do think the county council has an appalling record at the moment with public transport.

“It is dreadful the massive cuts in subsidies. It seems to me the council does not care about public transport.”

A county council spokesman said: “We are currently reviewing our funding of local bus services and are asking for views from members of the public before any decisions are made.

“One of the proposals is to withdraw the evening Slinky bus service between Wellington and Taunton which currently has extremely low usage.

“We would encourage anyone who has an interest in this service or any others to provide us with their feedback by January 6.

“All the information gathered will be considered before a decision is made in February 2014.”

Have your say at somerset.gov.uk or by calling 0845 345 9166 to request a questionnaire.

Comments (5)

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5:45pm Mon 23 Dec 13

Mr Billy O'naire says...

Open message to Cllr Govier and Cllr Henley,

Stop whinging and whining Cllrs Govier and Henley and just be grateful that First bus continue to provide the level od service that we do!

You are both long-serving loyal servants of the free-market capitalist system which serves to enrich the billionaires like myself and my chums whom own the big five operators; Arriva, First, Go-Ahead, National Express and Stagecoach. Together me and my billionaire chums in the big five operators own and controll 70% of the market.....phnargaha
hahahahaha!!

You both supported the deregulation and privatisation of the bus 'service' and you both fought against those loony lefties whom argued that deregulation and privatisation would lead to a more expensive and a more unreliable bus 'service'.

You seem to have temporarily forgotten where your political loyalty lies or perhaps this is just one of your political expedients to keep the dirty plebs on your side by pretending that you care about them!

Any way, never forget of course, that the bus companies do not exist to provide this mythical thing called a bus 'service'. A bus 'service' that can transport people from 'A' to 'B' whenever they simply want to or need to......(what a completely ludicrous, old-fashioned, outdated and outmoded suggestion!) NO! The bus companies exist PURELY AND SIMPLY;to make me and my chums even more stinking rich AND WEALTHY!

This is the free-market capitalist ergo Modern Way of doing things, and we know that we can rely upon you both and your respective parties to continue promoting this commonly held capitalist agenda.

We billionaires are delighted that your Party Cllr Gove (New 'Labour' )and your Party Cllr Hendley (the Lib Dems) will continue to support the billionaires getting richer by the second. We know that we can rely upon you both to continue peddling the lie and the myth that austerity for the masses is necessary whilst we billionaires continue to thrive....hahahahaha
h their were fourteen more of us billionaires created last year alone.... happy days!!

And remember the great unwashed plebs can continue getting stuffed this and every Christmas!! HO HO HO HOHAHAHAHAHAHAHHHHAA
AAAMWWOHOAOAOAOHAHAH
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
AHAHAHAHHHHHHHHHHHHA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAH


It's also how we billionaires are derulating and privatising the odious NHS ... oh what a cash bonanza that is also providing us billionaires!
Open message to Cllr Govier and Cllr Henley, Stop whinging and whining Cllrs Govier and Henley and just be grateful that First bus continue to provide the level od service that we do! You are both long-serving loyal servants of the free-market capitalist system which serves to enrich the billionaires like myself and my chums whom own the big five operators; Arriva, First, Go-Ahead, National Express and Stagecoach. Together me and my billionaire chums in the big five operators own and controll 70% of the market.....phnargaha hahahahaha!! You both supported the deregulation and privatisation of the bus 'service' and you both fought against those loony lefties whom argued that deregulation and privatisation would lead to a more expensive and a more unreliable bus 'service'. You seem to have temporarily forgotten where your political loyalty lies or perhaps this is just one of your political expedients to keep the dirty plebs on your side by pretending that you care about them! Any way, never forget of course, that the bus companies do not exist to provide this mythical thing called a bus 'service'. A bus 'service' that can transport people from 'A' to 'B' whenever they simply want to or need to......(what a completely ludicrous, old-fashioned, outdated and outmoded suggestion!) NO! The bus companies exist PURELY AND SIMPLY;to make me and my chums even more stinking rich AND WEALTHY! This is the free-market capitalist ergo Modern Way of doing things, and we know that we can rely upon you both and your respective parties to continue promoting this commonly held capitalist agenda. We billionaires are delighted that your Party Cllr Gove (New 'Labour' )and your Party Cllr Hendley (the Lib Dems) will continue to support the billionaires getting richer by the second. We know that we can rely upon you both to continue peddling the lie and the myth that austerity for the masses is necessary whilst we billionaires continue to thrive....hahahahaha h their were fourteen more of us billionaires created last year alone.... happy days!! And remember the great unwashed plebs can continue getting stuffed this and every Christmas!! HO HO HO HOHAHAHAHAHAHAHHHHAA AAAMWWOHOAOAOAOHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHHHHHHHHHHHHA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAH It's also how we billionaires are derulating and privatising the odious NHS ... oh what a cash bonanza that is also providing us billionaires! Mr Billy O'naire

1:53pm Sun 29 Dec 13

wastedcash says...

What do you expect. We have 2 company's clearly run by shortsighted, commercially inept fools, with little or no interest in either the good of the local community or the good of their own company. They spend all their time squabbling over what few passengers there are, rather than looking at ways they could possibly increase the passenger base and thus increase their profits. We are doomed to continue to have dreadful Bus services in this area whilst the management of these 2 company's stay in place.
What do you expect. We have 2 company's clearly run by shortsighted, commercially inept fools, with little or no interest in either the good of the local community or the good of their own company. They spend all their time squabbling over what few passengers there are, rather than looking at ways they could possibly increase the passenger base and thus increase their profits. We are doomed to continue to have dreadful Bus services in this area whilst the management of these 2 company's stay in place. wastedcash

6:20am Mon 30 Dec 13

Somerset.SocialistParty says...

And look what they're also doing to the reailways!

Send the transport privatisers packing

Renationalise the railways

Take the whole rail system back into public ownership! That is the only logical conclusion from the fiasco over the franchise for the West Coast Main Line railway from London to Glasgow.

Capitalist giant Virgin Rail had run the service since 1997 under the privatisation policy that has ruined the rail system.

However, this August, the Department of Transport took the franchise off them and handed it to rivals FirstGroup.

After angry protests from Virgin's Richard Branson, that decision was overturned with ministers blaming civil service workers (who else?) for this disastrous flop of a government policy.

Rail privatisation, introduced by the Tories in the 1990s but continued by Labour governments, puts profit-seeking in the driving seat.

Rail firms are guaranteed a large income. If they do not reach their target profit, the government makes up part of that shortfall. It foolishly puts trust in the capitalist companies' integrity.

Steve Hedley, assistant general secretary of the transport union RMT, told the Socialist:

"The bidding system was supposed to get private rail firms to put in a realistic bid to win the franchise and safeguard jobs.

"FirstGroup put in an unrealistic bid and have been granted the franchise! The only way they're going to make this franchise pay out is to cut jobs aggressively.

"We're not supporting one private company against another. The RMT thinks the whole network should be renationalised.

"Even the job-threatening McNulty report says this would be three to four times as cheap as a private system.

"It's ridiculous. For months the system will be in limbo. They don't know what to do apart from painting the trains green but not putting any logo on it until the whole mess is resolved! Renationalisation is the only realistic solution."

The Socialist Party programme includes:
*No to privatisation

*A democratically planned, low fare, publicly owned transport system

*Nationalisation of the transport system under democratic working class control and management

*Compensation to be paid only on the basis of proven need. No compensation for the privatising fat cats

Reality of rail privatisation



*The West Coast deal will cost Britain's taxpayers £40 million to compensate bidders as this franchising operation is totally rerun.

*The government returns in taxpayer bailouts nearly half of the money that privatising rail companies pay for their profitable operations.

*Eight out of 17 rail franchises receive huge public subsidies. They received £451 million in the past year (up by 55% in two years) after they over-inflated their projected revenue.

*Fares rose by up to 11% last January to boost private profits. Thousands of workers' jobs are threatened by the McNulty review.

*The East Coast line has increased its punctuality since being taken back into public ownership, and even made almost £200 million in profits.

Polls had already suggested that 70% of people supported the RMT union policy of total renationalisation of the rail system - after this debacle a Guardian poll showed 93% of people shared that opinion.

Don't just get angry...Get organised! .... Join the Socialist Party.

For more information or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o
rguk
And look what they're also doing to the reailways! Send the transport privatisers packing Renationalise the railways Take the whole rail system back into public ownership! That is the only logical conclusion from the fiasco over the franchise for the West Coast Main Line railway from London to Glasgow. Capitalist giant Virgin Rail had run the service since 1997 under the privatisation policy that has ruined the rail system. However, this August, the Department of Transport took the franchise off them and handed it to rivals FirstGroup. After angry protests from Virgin's Richard Branson, that decision was overturned with ministers blaming civil service workers (who else?) for this disastrous flop of a government policy. Rail privatisation, introduced by the Tories in the 1990s but continued by Labour governments, puts profit-seeking in the driving seat. Rail firms are guaranteed a large income. If they do not reach their target profit, the government makes up part of that shortfall. It foolishly puts trust in the capitalist companies' integrity. Steve Hedley, assistant general secretary of the transport union RMT, told the Socialist: "The bidding system was supposed to get private rail firms to put in a realistic bid to win the franchise and safeguard jobs. "FirstGroup put in an unrealistic bid and have been granted the franchise! The only way they're going to make this franchise pay out is to cut jobs aggressively. "We're not supporting one private company against another. The RMT thinks the whole network should be renationalised. "Even the job-threatening McNulty report says this would be three to four times as cheap as a private system. "It's ridiculous. For months the system will be in limbo. They don't know what to do apart from painting the trains green but not putting any logo on it until the whole mess is resolved! Renationalisation is the only realistic solution." The Socialist Party programme includes: *No to privatisation *A democratically planned, low fare, publicly owned transport system *Nationalisation of the transport system under democratic working class control and management *Compensation to be paid only on the basis of proven need. No compensation for the privatising fat cats Reality of rail privatisation *The West Coast deal will cost Britain's taxpayers £40 million to compensate bidders as this franchising operation is totally rerun. *The government returns in taxpayer bailouts nearly half of the money that privatising rail companies pay for their profitable operations. *Eight out of 17 rail franchises receive huge public subsidies. They received £451 million in the past year (up by 55% in two years) after they over-inflated their projected revenue. *Fares rose by up to 11% last January to boost private profits. Thousands of workers' jobs are threatened by the McNulty review. *The East Coast line has increased its punctuality since being taken back into public ownership, and even made almost £200 million in profits. Polls had already suggested that 70% of people supported the RMT union policy of total renationalisation of the rail system - after this debacle a Guardian poll showed 93% of people shared that opinion. Don't just get angry...Get organised! .... Join the Socialist Party. For more information or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o rguk Somerset.SocialistParty

6:25am Mon 30 Dec 13

Somerset.SocialistParty says...

Buses - brutal reality behind the sweet talk

A bus worker reports:

Privatisation of public transport would make things so much better, the Tories told us under Margaret Thatcher.

Many people thought it couldn't get any worse. The prospect of waiting in the cold and rain or being packed on overcrowded trains meant more people used cars and services declined for the rest of us.

Apparently privatisation would improve things for the consumer because faceless bureaucrats were no longer in control.

Enterprising companies would run things in their customers' interests. They'd be more flexible and respond to people's needs - the free market would guarantee that if they didn't provide a good service, competitors would take their business. Passengers would have a choice.

No mass party explained an alternative. So the brutal reality behind all this sweet talk only slowly dawned on people.

Fatal rail disasters showed how the safety culture had been undermined. Bus services outside the big cities practically vanished on Sundays and in the evenings.

High fares

As a public transport user and a bus driver, I see things from two viewpoints. The month I lost my staff pass reminded me of the high fares, too.

London buses were privatised a decade after the rest of Britain, partly because the government was concerned at the potential resistance of the unions.

But eventually in the run-up to 1994, in the absence of a determined union leadership, workers were forced to accept job cuts, pay cuts of up to a third, destruction of pensions and even our social clubs.

The Tories also feared transport chaos in the capital. So privatisation came with regulation through Transport for London (TfL).

This includes an annual subsidy from the taxpayer to private bus operators of hundreds of millions of pounds. So they don't mind state regulation too much.

Look at the career of David Brown. Last year he resigned as TfL's Managing Director of surface transport to become CEO of bus firm Go-Ahead.

Before TfL, Brown had been chief executive of Go-Ahead's London bus business. Now a former boss of bus company First has taken his position at TfL. So that's all right then - for the bus companies.

Where's the "healthy competition"? Just five firms - Arriva, First, Go-Ahead, National Express and Stagecoach dominate UK local bus services and train operations too.

Where's the "choice"? These same big firms have already chosen which one will provide a service in your area.

London tube workers beware! Privatisation is heading in your direction too, if the government gets its way.

A genuine alternative would involve a mass political campaign by transport users alongside workers in the industry and democratic public control of the transport system.

Don't just get angry...Get organised! .... Join the Socialist Party.

For more information or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
Buses - brutal reality behind the sweet talk A bus worker reports: Privatisation of public transport would make things so much better, the Tories told us under Margaret Thatcher. Many people thought it couldn't get any worse. The prospect of waiting in the cold and rain or being packed on overcrowded trains meant more people used cars and services declined for the rest of us. Apparently privatisation would improve things for the consumer because faceless bureaucrats were no longer in control. Enterprising companies would run things in their customers' interests. They'd be more flexible and respond to people's needs - the free market would guarantee that if they didn't provide a good service, competitors would take their business. Passengers would have a choice. No mass party explained an alternative. So the brutal reality behind all this sweet talk only slowly dawned on people. Fatal rail disasters showed how the safety culture had been undermined. Bus services outside the big cities practically vanished on Sundays and in the evenings. High fares As a public transport user and a bus driver, I see things from two viewpoints. The month I lost my staff pass reminded me of the high fares, too. London buses were privatised a decade after the rest of Britain, partly because the government was concerned at the potential resistance of the unions. But eventually in the run-up to 1994, in the absence of a determined union leadership, workers were forced to accept job cuts, pay cuts of up to a third, destruction of pensions and even our social clubs. The Tories also feared transport chaos in the capital. So privatisation came with regulation through Transport for London (TfL). This includes an annual subsidy from the taxpayer to private bus operators of hundreds of millions of pounds. So they don't mind state regulation too much. Look at the career of David Brown. Last year he resigned as TfL's Managing Director of surface transport to become CEO of bus firm Go-Ahead. Before TfL, Brown had been chief executive of Go-Ahead's London bus business. Now a former boss of bus company First has taken his position at TfL. So that's all right then - for the bus companies. Where's the "healthy competition"? Just five firms - Arriva, First, Go-Ahead, National Express and Stagecoach dominate UK local bus services and train operations too. Where's the "choice"? These same big firms have already chosen which one will provide a service in your area. London tube workers beware! Privatisation is heading in your direction too, if the government gets its way. A genuine alternative would involve a mass political campaign by transport users alongside workers in the industry and democratic public control of the transport system. Don't just get angry...Get organised! .... Join the Socialist Party. For more information or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk Somerset.SocialistParty

6:27am Mon 30 Dec 13

Somerset.SocialistParty says...

wastedcash wrote:
What do you expect. We have 2 company's clearly run by shortsighted, commercially inept fools, with little or no interest in either the good of the local community or the good of their own company. They spend all their time squabbling over what few passengers there are, rather than looking at ways they could possibly increase the passenger base and thus increase their profits. We are doomed to continue to have dreadful Bus services in this area whilst the management of these 2 company's stay in place.
Where's the "healthy competition"? Just five firms - Arriva, First, Go-Ahead, National Express and Stagecoach dominate UK local bus services and train operations too.

Where's the "choice"? These same big firms have already chosen which one will provide a service in your area.

London tube workers beware! Privatisation is heading in your direction too, if the government gets its way.

A genuine alternative would involve a mass political campaign by transport users alongside workers in the industry and democratic public control of the transport system.

Don't just get angry...Get organised! .... Join the Socialist Party.

For more information or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
[quote][p][bold]wastedcash[/bold] wrote: What do you expect. We have 2 company's clearly run by shortsighted, commercially inept fools, with little or no interest in either the good of the local community or the good of their own company. They spend all their time squabbling over what few passengers there are, rather than looking at ways they could possibly increase the passenger base and thus increase their profits. We are doomed to continue to have dreadful Bus services in this area whilst the management of these 2 company's stay in place.[/p][/quote]Where's the "healthy competition"? Just five firms - Arriva, First, Go-Ahead, National Express and Stagecoach dominate UK local bus services and train operations too. Where's the "choice"? These same big firms have already chosen which one will provide a service in your area. London tube workers beware! Privatisation is heading in your direction too, if the government gets its way. A genuine alternative would involve a mass political campaign by transport users alongside workers in the industry and democratic public control of the transport system. Don't just get angry...Get organised! .... Join the Socialist Party. For more information or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk Somerset.SocialistParty

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