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News  »  Bus Transport proposal Sept 2016



   Bus Transport proposal Sept 2016    September 9, 2016

West Monkton Parish Council

Attendance at Heathfield Community Hall coffee morning as follow up to deputation of residents to Parish Council meeting on 10th August 2016

In attendance: Cllr Fothergill SCC, Cllr Cavill TDBC, John Perrett SCC, Tricia Cavill Parish Clerk; about 20 residents of the parish.

 

John Perrett explained the existing provision.

Commercial bus companies had cut the service provision in a small section of the network i.e. from Monkton Heathfield to Cheddon Road.

He explained that currently the County Council has very little influence over the non-subsidized First Bus services, which are run purely commercially. 

There are subsidized services over which SCC has influence, including Slinky Bus and the volunteer driver scheme. The Slinky 16 seater minibus bus requires 24 hour booking in advance and only runs on certain days, residents were urged to make use of this service if the days are appropriate.  Medical appointments will be prioritized if this information is given at the time of booking. Concessionary bus passes can be used on the Slinky Bus.

 

John Perrett then explained what the current and future situation was.

The Monkton Heathfield Urban Extension has a Travel Plan which has to be delivered by the Developers when certain conditions (e.g. number of houses occupied) are reached.  The trigger for SCC to claim the first 50% of the travel subsidy has been reached so the letter requesting the funds has been sent to Persimmon. Once the funds have been received by SCC, tenders will be invited to deliver a bus service which is currently envisaged to be a circular route linking all parts of the Monkton Heathfield area (old and new) to go down to the Crown Medical Centre, on into the railway station, Taunton town centre and possibly to Musgrove Park Hospital (if time allows) and back.  The SCC subsidy should ensure that the bus service would be supported for its first 5 or so years by which time it should have gained commercial viability.

 

The developer response to the letter requesting the funds should not be long, as it is a S106 agreement that the developer will pay the agreed sum.  It is hoped that the funds will be received within the next few weeks after which the new service can go out for tender.  J Perrett’s team will draw up a proposed route and a bus timetable which the Parish Council will be asked to comment upon before it goes out to tender.

 

Other comments:

Comments were made about the current state of the buses not being cleaned very effectively, and the ride rattles along. These comments will be conveyed to the Local Manager of First Bus by J Perrett at his regular meeting on Friday.

 

The exact location of the new bus shelters outside the Local Centre and the school was questioned – This was later checked on the plans and found to be as explained, in the laybys provided outside the Local Centre and the Primary School.  The person who made the comments was phoned with the response at 2.00pm today.

 

The dangers associated with the bus stop opposite the Butchers shop on the A3259 were noted, also lack of Bus Shelter. The plans for the Hartnells development were checked.  These plans show a pavement on the farm side of the road, with a new bus shelter on that side, and crossing points are also shown.  The existing bus shelter on the Taunton side will be moved down the road a little. The plan is on TD website application 48/13/0008, and can be viewed at the Deane House.

 

Councillor Fothergill will be taking this forward, please contact him directly djafothergill@somerset.gov.uk or via the Parish Clerk clerk.westmonktonpc@yahoo.co.uk

 

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