The Town Council submitted it's response to the Cheshire East Supported Bus Service Review . The comments made by the Council are set out below:
Crewe Town Council wishes to respond to the review and sets out its response in two groups. Matters of general nature and those specific to the current services and bus routes. Taking general matters first:
- The proposals are regressive and indeed a case could be made for the increase in the level of support for local services.
- The reduction in supported service will inevitably impact on those who have the least access to private means of travel.
- The reduction in supported services will target the most vulnerable in our society.
- The Town Centre Regeneration Strategy refers to establishing an approach to future bus services for the town which meets modern and future bus passenger needs, the Council questions whether the proposed reduction in service aligns itself with the Regeneration Strategy.
- The proposals will eliminate travel options in the evening and on Sundays. This will increase social isolation and inhibit residents and visitors accessing valuable amenities such as retail and leisure opportunities in the town centre.
- The impact of key investments such as the Lifestyle Centre will be influenced as users will find it harder to access services such as the library and sports facilities.
- The changes will have a negative impact on businesses such as town centre traders.
- The Council calls for a full equalities impact assessment to be undertaken and published.
- The Council calls on Cheshire East to look again at its methodology used to underpin the survey data.
- The proposals are environmentally unfriendly, can only lead to increased car usage which in turn raises pollution levels. Council asks if the impact of such changes have been modelled and the effect on the current Air Quality Management Areas quantified.
Turning now to issues specific to the current service. The following points are made:
- At present most services into Crewe stop at around 8pm. There is for example no service into the town centre after that time. This situation will get worse under the proposal with services stopping around 5pm and none on a Sunday.
- Services need to be improved as that would increase usage. The ‘6’ service for instance is frequently cancelled at short notice and this detracts from passenger numbers and acts a deterrent to using the service.
- There is only one bus that leaves late enough to permit it to be used by those wishing to access performances at the Lyceum. It is proposed that this service should cease.
Council hopes that you will give due consideration to these points as part of this consultation.