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WC cuts buses after parking bungle

July 6, 2013 8:58 PM

A year or so ago the council doubled car parking charges in Wiltshire towns, promising that the extra profits would be used to support bus services. The Conservative administration failed to realise that doubling your prices doesn't mean you double your income - people used the car parks less.

So now bus services are being reduced to save money.

Melksham councillor Terry Chivers has put a question to the responsible cabinet member John Thomson. Here it is in full:

TC - "Residents were told that the last increase in car parking charges would go towards funding rural bus services. We now are looking at cuts to services in rural areas that provide a vital link for many local residents, can you explain why local residents have been misled?"

JT - "The budget for funding non-commercial bus services has been set in the knowledge that income would be available from car parking charges. However, given the mounting pressures on local authority funding across the board this has not offset the need for some reductions in spending on bus services, and the budget for 2013/14 includes a requirement to make a saving through reviews of poorly used services. The reductions in the bus service budget have however been less than in some other service areas, less than in many of our neighbouring authorities, and less than would have been required had parking charges not been increased."