I’m being asked what I’d do about the bus services around North Somerset.
They are, frankly, a disaster. The main service being mentioned to me is the 126 bus which Somerset Council has managed to save but North Somerset Council hasn’t as it no longer runs between Weston-super-Mare and Wells and now stops at the border between Somerset and North Somerset.
But I think bus services in general need to be looked into. If we want a thriving night-time economy the buses need to be running later. If that happened, perhaps the taxis wouldn’t be quite so complacent because they’d have a bit of competition.
The problem is that I’m not sure how easy it’d be to do that because I don’t have access to the contracts so I don’t know what the current council has signed when they moved some of the services from First to Stagecoach. North Somerset Council will tell you that they’re trying their best, but they don’t give you a huge amount of detail in terms of why they’ve failed to do better.
What Would I Do About Bus Services?
It strikes me that the current council didn’t push hard enough when First dropped a load of services. We should have been saying that if First wanted to continue running the profitable X1 service they had to run a few of the less profitable routes as well.
That’s basic negotiation. When I was running the South West account for Zurich Insurance a broker wouldn’t have dealt with me if I only underwrote the good stuff and refused to take the stuff that was a bit more dodgy. It should have been the same with First.
Essentially, though, all of the region’s public transport needs to be looked into and I can promise to do that. But what I can’t promise is to actually do anything(!) because if the 126 route is loss-making and the current council has signed a five-year deal on the X1 route my hands would be tied.
I’ll do my best because I believe this is important and I believe that the people in the area feel the same. If you agree with me, you know how to vote on 4th May.
Thoughts? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.