Committee to look at shake-up of Bucks transport system

Select committee chairman Warren Whyte
Select committee chairman Warren Whyte

A cross-party committee is to dissect the county’s public transport system as part of an investigation into how the service moves forward.

The inquiry will be carried out by the county council’s cross-party environment, transport and locality service select committee to look at the future for public transport towards 2020 and beyond.

The aim is to identify ways the council can provide better public transport services in the future.

Select committee chairman Warren Whyte said: “This is an opportunity to go back to the fundamentals of what public transport needs to look like now and in the future.

“We want to understand what’s there at the moment, how people’s needs are being met, and how those needs are changing and likely to change over the next five years and longer.

“Then the county council will be in a stronger position to target support much more effectively to ensure a sustainable and affordable public transport network in a time of increasing financial constraint.’

Mr Whyte said the committee planned to explore the issue thoroughly in stages.

During the summer committee members will examine what’s in place at present including current policy, the shape of the network and how the council’s public transport budget is spent.

Over the autumn and towards the winter, evidence gathering will continue as committee members seek input from groups and individuals representing all interests in the community.

The committee will try to paint a picture of the future needs and demands of residents, and the options available to support these.

The committee will compile its findings and recommendations to the cabinet towards spring 2015.

Mr Whyte said: “Community life never stands still.

“Population moves and needs change over time.

“By no means are they the same today as they were 20 years ago.

“We need to consider new and innovative ways of maximising reducing budgets to meet the needs of residents.

“We’re asking the big question in relation to our current public transport support: “If we were to start all over again, would it look like this?”

The committee includes the county council’s new deputy cabinet member for education Bill Bendyshe-Brown, UKIP councillor Phil Gomm and Lib Dem Steven Lambert.