(Continued from How to Use Web Pages as Outlining Tools.)
I took the image at the end of the previous post from one of the maps on the Campaign for Better Transport’s site: an interactive map which lets you see the cuts to bus funding in England and Wales since 2010. For Oxfordshire, it shows a reduction from £4.6M in 2010-11 to £2.6M in 2014-15, and to only £1.8M in 2015-16.
Since then, there have been more cuts. According to the Oxford Mail‘s “Bus service cuts: All you need to know about routes that will be axed across Oxfordshire”, more than 50 routes were removed in July. And in December, the Mail reported that three routes were withdrawn from the area around Beckley, Stanton St John, Forest Hill, Littleworth, and the Miltons. Which may be a bigger problem than some of the earlier cuts, because I don’t think there are other services nearby that can substitute.
I’m no expert, but I’ve read that the July cuts aren’t as serious as claimed, because bus companies have limited the damage by changing and merging some routes. But they are still serious. To quote Oxford Prospect‘s “Nine More Oxford Villages Lose Their Bus Services”:
Emma Teasdale lives in Horton-cum-Studley. She told the public meeting:
“My daughter will have no way of getting from our village into Oxford and home from college daily when the 108 & 118 service is withdrawn. I certainly can’t afford a taxi twice a day. Angry is not the word!”
Going back to Oxford Neighbourhoods Partnership, this charity’s aim is to help neighbourhoods in Oxfordshire become good neighbourhoods. Neighbourhoods whose members can then take over some of the tasks that our government no longer wants to do. One of which is organising bus services — or, more generally speaking, community transport. The latter term also covers things that scheduled bus services are not best suited for anyway, such as getting patients who can’t walk well to hospital. But all this costs money.