Transport – Bus travel
Rural bus travel in a deregulated environment has suffered, and coverage relies on a declining but discretionary subsidy from local Government. This continues to prop up commercially unviable services. Publicity of these services has never been a priority, so considerable efforts have been made here to produce a range of timetables and other resources, e.g. online, to make it easier for people to know about services and to use them. The adopt-a-bus-stop scheme is still in its infancy, but intended to use imaginative promotional messages to encourage patronage. Our interventions have been well-received and we continue to collaborate with the local authority on improving bus timetable information and provision. It is difficult to objectively measure whether these efforts have changed behaviour, but we can verify that outlets that supply our timetables are mostly aware of them, and their currency and that there is a gap in demand which these offerings have filled.
It is more difficult to measure whether people are using the buses more, as patronage figures are difficult to extract.
It has been a challenge to sustain the momentum of the bus users group, with enthusiasm at first rising when the group first came together and then waning. We have latterly launched a few publicity initiatives that may help us to invigorate / re-animate the membership.