Friday, 23 November 2012

Connections Bus Project - Report to Bar Hill Parish Councillors

The full report is available (via Google Drive) here. Unfortunately the report does not make encouraging reading for our (the Parish Councils) involvement with the service going forward - they just simply don't seem to be able to attract a significant number of people to use their service in Bar Hill.

It's not clear exactly what the cause of the issue is but here in Bar Hill we seem to be averaging only half the number of users for each session compared to other communities.

It's very difficult to know what exactly to do going forward, but in my view as a Parish Councillor we should only be using public money to provide a service that is a) being actively used, and b) cannot be provided commercially. Whilst we are providing only a relatively small amount of money (approx. 3.5k) it's quite clear from the report that the service is moving further away from commercial viability rather than getting nearer to it - the amount of money we'd need to buy in the same level of service looks set to increase year-on-year.

Of course it's silly to say that any proposals from the Connections Bus Project should be dismissed out of hand but they would certainly need to be treated with some healthy scepticism given our past experience and I think a key factor in getting any further grants would be showing a workable way of getting more people to use the service (maybe situating it in the lay-by near the Skate Park?).