The CCA’s email to local councillors re 305 bus route

The CCA’s email to local councillors re 305 bus route

 

305 bus

24 February 2017

 

To the following Councillors who’s wards are effected by the closure of the 305 bus route.

 

Windsor & Maidenhead

Councillor Stuart Carroll

Councillor Paul Lion

Councillor Claire Stretton

Councillor David Burbage

Councillor David Coppinger

Councillor Leo Walters

Councillor Jack Rankin

Councillor Wesley Richards

Councillor Shamsul Shelim

Councillor John Bowden

Councillor Eileen Quick

Councillor Hashim Bhatti

Councillor John Collins

Councillor Nicola Pryer

Councillor Michael Airey

Councillor Edward Wilson

Councillor Paul Brimacombe

Councillor Clive Bullock

Councillor Ross McWilliams
Councillor Jesse Grey

Councillor Gary Muir

Councillor Malcolm Alexander

Councillor Samantha Rayner

Councillor Mohammed Ilyas

Councillor Derek Sharp

Councillor John Lenton

Councillor Colin Rayner

Councillor Carwyn Cox

Councillor David Evans

Councillor Maureen Hunt

Councillor Simon Dudley

Councillor Adam Smith

Councillor Malcolm Beer

Councillor Lynne Jones

Councillor Geoffrey Hill

Councillor Asghar Majeed

Councillor Derek Wilson

Councillor Natasha Airey

Councillor Phillip Bicknell

Councillor Marius Gilmore

Councillor Charles Hollingsworth

Councillor Simon Werner

Councillor Christine Bateson

Councillor Sayonara Luxton

Councillor Julian Sharpe

Councillor John Story

Councillor Lynda Yong

 

Slough

Councillor Avtar K. Cheema

Councillor Dexter J. Smith

Councillor Fiza A Matloob

Councillor Sohail Munawar

Councillor Madhuri Bedi

 

 Spelthorne

Councillor Colin Davis

Councillor Mark Francis

Councillor Jean Pinkerton OBE

Councillor Steven Burkmar

Councillor Sabine Capes

Councillor Sabine Capes

Councillor Penny Forbes-Forsyth

Councillor Jonathan Wilson

Councillor Yvonne Lay

Councillor Gill Warner

Councillor Peter Waddell

 

 

Dear Councillor,

I am writing to you regarding the closure of the 305 bus route which runs from Colnbrook through Horton, Wraysbury and on to Staines.

On the 6th February 2016, we were informed by an internet post on the Wraysbury Parish Council Facebook page that the 305 bus route’s funding was to be withdrawn on the 31st March 2017 by the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead.

As a community of bus users, we span three council boundaries making the 305 a vital transport link for our residence.

The impact of withdrawing the 305 bus service will have a huge negative impact on all three riverside communities. Children will be prevented from safely and independently travelling to theMagna Carter School in Staines from Colnbrook, Horton and Wraysbury, and several churches and clubs on the route will be effected as elderly pensioners will see access denied.

 

Local businesses and public houses will see customers

 

prevented from using their services, as one bus ride becomes an expensive taxi journey or an increase in journey time of up to 1hr with extra expense as several connecting buses or trains will have to be used to get to their destination.

 
The elderly and disabled in the community will see a simple one journey bus ride, which drops residents into the heart of the shopping centre at Staines, turn into a 1hr journey by train which includes a unmanageable step up to the train; or a pre booked service so ramps can be used by the train guard; and a 15 minute walk from Staines train station to the shops.

 

A dial a ride service has been mentioned but again this will take away peoples’ freedom of movement. The disabled community and those of retirement age should be able to walk out of their front door’s and decided to go to the shops, just like able bodied members of the public.

 

Their disability and age should not mean they have to pre-plan and pre-book every journey they make. That would be a clear case of discrimination.

 

In the Windsor & Maidenhead transport plan 2012 – 2026 it clearly states:

 

Transport is a vital public service that is essential to our everyday lives. However, improving transport is rarely an end in itself, but instead it is a demand that arises from other activities and needs, such as the movement of goods, getting to school or work, accessing healthcare services, going shopping and making use of leisure facilities. In this Local Transport Plan, transport is seen in the context of the bigger picture, helping to deliver essential services, supporting sustainable economic growth, protecting, and enhancing our unique environment and improving our quality of life. The LTP has been developed with input from officers across the Councils various service areas, as well as from external partners and service providers.

 

So how is withdrawing funding from the 305 route in line with this report?

 

Within this report, it also states:

 

We continually put residents and customers first by offering them flexibility in how they access and use our services, and by providing opportunities to tell us what they want and influence service provision.

A single Facebook post regarding the with drawl of funding of the 305 shows the council did not stand by this statement. In fact, through tireless research we have uncovered a report dated June 2016 where the withdrawal of funding for the 305 Saturday service was approved and this was not publicly know.

The Transport Act 2000 is very clear that.

Local transport legislation contains an obligation for local transport authorities to have regard to the transport needs of older people and people with mobility difficulties when developing transport plans and policies. The Act adds a new requirement to have regard to the needs of disabled people, both in developing and implementing plans, thereby broadening the scope of the legislation to bring it in line with the Disability Discrimination Act.

It is therefore a legal requirement for councils to fully consult with the public before decisions about our public transport are made.

A very comprehensive public consultation was done in order to produce the transport report, so it would only be right and proper that a comprehensive public consultation, risk assessment and impact report be undertaken before any withdrawal of funding or service of the 305 takes place.

We are asking for all three councils to work together to fully engage with the public to secure funding for the 305 bus route for the next 5 years. We already know from the 2011 census the elderly population is going to continue to grow and mobility issues will increase demonstrating a need for the 305 to stay in service.

Withdrawing the service now would show a short-sighted view from all three authorities.

A petition was handed to Windsor & Maidenhead council on the 21st February 2017. It had a total of some 1,650 signatures which already establishes a proven need for the service.

We do look forward to a receiving a comprehensive response to this issue and the publication of a forward plan of how all three councils will proceed to prevent the closure of the 305 bus route and in turn prevent contravening the Transport Act 2000 & The Disability Discrimination Act.

 

Yours Sincerely,

 

Charles

Charles Burke

(305 Bus Service User and user of  walking aids)

 

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