Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Cornwall buses - 'constructive' talks held

Cornwall Council and bus operators have been holding discussions today following last week's (apparently illegal) attempt by the Council to cut the subsidies given to the operators for carrying free bus pass holders.

According to the statement released this afternoon:

Constructive dialogue has taken place today between Cornwall Council and major bus operators in Cornwall.
The council has to meet reduced budgets and, with the bus operators, will be seeking to minimise any impact on bus passengers.

Discussions are ongoing and a further meeting will be held next week.

Mark Howarth, Managing Director of Western Greyhound and head of Cornwall Passenger Transport, said: “I would like to thank the council for opening the dialogue with us and I look forward to continuing our talks.”

Graeme Hicks, Cornwall Council cabinet member for Transportation and Highways, said: “I’m pleased to have had the opportunity to meet up with the bus operators and look at the problem from their side. We are looking to come up with a reasonable solution.”

Tomorrow a council scrutiny committee will be discussing the issue with particular attention paid to why Cllr Hicks feels the need to make a cut midway through the financial year and why precipitous action was taken which did not involve talking to the bus companies or to passenger groups. However today's statement does seem to back the view that action without talking was hardly the best way to proceed.

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