Residents have until Saturday 31st May to have their say about how subsidies for public transport in Hampshire should be spent.
Hampshire County Council is asking residents to comment on bus and community transport services as part of a review into which services should receive financial support from the public purse.
The consultation was set up in March to gain as much information as possible on people’s preferences and views on bus subsidies, bus information and concessionary fares within Hampshire.
Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry, said: “It’s important that we look carefully at how we allocate funding in order that it is used fairly on behalf of Hampshire’s council taxpayers.“
“The County Council currently spends over £4 million every year on subsidising bus routes which are considered financially unviable by the commercial operators.“
“Our local enhancement to the national concessionary fares scheme which provides older people with free bus travel from 9am instead of 9.30am, costs an extra £300,000 – bringing its total cost to £13 million a year. Depending on the outcome of the consultation we could look at special provision in those locations where there is no bus service after 9.30am.”
“We are asking residents to comment on how we can best support public and community transport, and shape services within the available budget.“
“So far, around 5,000 forms have been distributed to libraries, village shops, post offices, bus operators and bus stations. Copies have also been handed out on buses during many of the journeys the County Council currently subsidises.“
“Over 1,000 organisations, from care groups to local councils, including parish, town and district councils, have been contacted to canvas the views of those they represent. We’ve also presented the options to the 1,400 organisations and individuals who are involved with our nine passenger transport forums, as well as to our parish transport representatives at a conference in March, which had around 100 attendees.“
“There are posters on buses which feature the phone number and address for people to contact, as well as the website address and a QR code, should residents wish to contact us online.“
“The consultation is open until 31st May and we would encourage as many people as possible to let us know what they think.“