York Green Party

10 January 2013

York's Green group leader Cllr Andy D'Agorne has called for hourly bus services from York City Centre to outlying villages and surburbs.

Andy suggests "I would like to see bus operators sit down with senior council transport officers and directors of major city centre entertainments venues such as the theatres, cinemas, The Barbican, Mecca Bingo and Fibbers, to come up with a serious promotion plan.

"The recession and the development of out of town centres like Clifton Moor and Monks Cross mean that these businesses will have to work harder to attract customers. As part of their contribution to greener travel, they could promote discounted bus services and ensure that performance finishing times tie in with bus timetables. I intend to discuss this with the council representatives on the bus partnership - if the operators are not prepared to consider it that would be more reason for the council to move towards a Quality Contract to give them direct control over bus services in the city".

The Council currently has little control over the bus services in the city, which are run by private operators. However, both the Council and the bus operators are members of a 'Quality Bus Partnership' group. At a public consultation meeting last summer this idea was raised by a member of the public, who explained that if he wanted to attend a film in the evening he either had to use a car or wait over an hour. No action has been taken by the bus operators.

Andy says, "As a major tourist centre where over 20% of visitors come by train, we should be able to offer a better evening public transport service than we do. Residents and visitors want to be able to enjoy city centre entertainment without having to add costly taxi fares to the expense of their night out.

Andy D'Agorne cites the example of Edinburgh, where evening buses run every 15 minutes until 11pm, after which there are hourly night buses at a flat rate £3 charge until 4am. This results in less noise disturbance for residents on walking/taxi routes from the city and a more healthy city centre economy.

"The young and elderly often do not have the choice of being able to drive into the city in the evening, and a decent evening bus service would encourage more retired people to give up the cost of running a car which would help to cut pollution and congestion in the city, reduce pressure on street parking and help York meet its targets to reduce carbon without harming the local economy."

Notes:

  • The objectives of the Quality Bus Partnership are stated on the council website is as follows:

    "…to bring together stakeholders in York's Public Transport Service, with a view to providing the best quality of bus services and facilities that can be achieved with the resources available to the partners. The intention is to prioritise and co-ordinate improvements consistent with the Council's Bus Strategy (contained in the Local Transport Plan), to share best practice in service delivery, to pool and concentrate resources (where possible) for maximum effect, and to identify potential for future development of the public transport network. The overall partnership objective is 'to encourage greater use of public transport in and around York to reduce problems caused by traffic congestion, to improve the environment and to meet the social need for transport'."
  • From York Green Party's 2010 manifesto:

    "We do not believe that voluntary partnerships with the bus companies are working well enough. We will move forward on mechanisms such as Quality Contracts or bus franchising, which allow local authorities to control fare levels routes timetabling and frequency of service"

    "We will work to protect the funding of the less highly used routes … and to off peak (evening and weekend) travel. We will look for ways to extend these services so encouraging more journeys by bus."






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