Coleview Bus Service extended by local Conservative Councillor action!
I am pleased to let you know that your local Conservative Councillors have successfully secured a four month extension to the Coleview Bus Service. The off peak service will now continue to run until atleast September.
I live in Coleview and I believe that a bus service is important for the local community. By taking a full and active part in the Council, and using our influence Cllr Richard Hurley and I have been able to achieve this extension. We are committed to being a strong local voice for local residents to keep this bus.
It is easy for Councillors to go into automatic campaign mode, organise a petition, whip up concern for local residents and attack the situation, but it will not achieve anything by itself if the Coleview bus service continues to lose over £1000 a month. This situation cannot continue forever so the only certain way the bus service can be saved is for more passengers which will help reduce the subsidy.
An extra 20 people a day could make all the difference so to encourage more usage, the bus timetable and example passenger numbers can be found on the reverse of this letter.
I have contacted to Thamesdown Transport asking them if they can continue the off peak bus service at a lower cost. I have also lobbied Stagecoach seeking their support for running a service through Coleview. Swindon Borough Council must try to reach an agreement with Stagecoach if the existing Thamesdown Transport service cannot be continued.
I am actively lobbying Swindon Borough Council Highways Officers and my Cabinet colleagues to ensure a bus service continues from the end of the extension. I hope to make progress in the next couple of weeks, and I will update you with what is happening.
When thinking about the Coleview bus service, it is important to remember what has happened over the last 18 months.
Last January, I forced a Swindon Borough Council debate on the issue of local Bus Services with Councillor Richard Hurley. This debate occurred after Thamesdown Transport cut the Coleview bus service with no consultation with local residents or local Councillors.
Richard and I were the only Councillors to speak up for the local residents of Coleview during the meeting. Together we secured a commitment from the Council to run an off-peak service for 12 months between Sainsbury’s Stratton Park and the Town Centre. All of the opposition Labour Councillors sat on their hands and remained silent!
12 months have passed and with the bus contract coming to an end, I have again lobbied hard to keep the bus running. The Cabinet Member for Transport has confirmed in writing that only I and one Councillor for Penhill and Upper Stratton have spoken to him seeking an extension, and he was happy to support us. Sadly, no Labour Councillor has bothered to speak up for Coleview.
Richard Hurley and I were elected to do the best we can for local residents, and we will both keep up the pressure.