Further to our report on Suffolk’s new bus franchises Thedwastre South Councillor Penny Otton reiterates: “It now turns out Suffolk county council Tory council has awarded a contract for the Mid Suffolk area where you cannot use your bus pass. You can pay or swap your bus pass for a voucher worth £100. How many trips will that cover?? Is this fair?? I don’t think so!”
BSEVC covers not only MidSuffolk, but also Ipswich. Fortunately for the rest of Suffolk these are the only two areas where this iniquitous system is currently running -though the franchises are able to change their operating terms at any time.
“We’ve been told that BSEVC is able to refuse bus passes because they are operating 9 seater transport rather than the previous 22 seaters. This allows them to operate under different rules as community car schemes and Dial-A-Ride rather than Demand Responsive Transport. SCC officers have told us this is because the 22 seater buses are ‘not economically viable’ ; that BSEVC do hold 22 seaters, and that they could bring them back into use ‘should demand increase,” explains LibDem spokesperson for Transport, Caroline Page .
“But as the voucher system allows previous bus pass holders living in remote areas to make no more than 11 return journeys a year, it is hard to see how this promise is anything other than window dressing!”