Councillors from Slough and RBWM confirm that the No 10 (and others) service will continue!
The number 10 bus route, which serves Poyle and our neighbours in Wraysbury, Horton and Datchet as well as Slough and Staines residents was threatened with closure when First Buses announced the withdrawal of a number of routes in the local area.
This morning the CCA wrote to members of the RBWM Cabinet and SBC Councillors for Colnbrook. We have received these prompt responses this afternoon;-
From Cllr Dexter Smith – SBC Ward Cllr for Colnbrook
“Just to let you know that SBC are currently in crisis talks with First Buses – First could be pulling out of Slough Bus Station and the continuation of a number of their services are now in doubt. From what I can see at a distance, First would like to shed some services to bring their overall operation back to financial viability, and Slough and others are having to look to new providers to pick up the services that First drop. This has already been achieved with the Green Line service; the funding is still available, and there are other potential providers around.”
From Cllr Cllr Phillip Bicknell, Deputy Leader RBWM
“Thank you for your email.
Our officers are currently looking at options for continued service.
First gave no advance warnings about their plans.
As you know these all of these services are currently subsidised by four parties.
As soon as we have a comprehensive answer to your email I will ask officers to respond.
This is the letter sent by the CCA to RBWM 20 Councillors this morning;-
11th December 2017
I am writing to you regarding the closure of the No10 bus route which runs from Slough, to Datchet through Horton, Wraysbury and on to Staines. It also goes via Colnbrook to Heathrow T5.
Recently we were informed by a post on the Wraysbury News closed Facebook page, that this bus route was to be withdrawn by the First Bus Group. Subsequently, on the 1st December 2017, Slough Borough Council issued a detailed schedule of the proposed changes and cuts to services by First Bus across Windsor and Slough.
As a community of bus users, we span three council boundaries making the No10 a vital transport link for our residents.
Withdrawing the No 10 bus service will have a hugely negative impact to many in our communities.
The biggest impact will be on the most vulnerable residents of Wraysbury, Horton and Datchet. Residents will be deprived of their transport link to the Doctors surgery at Datchet Health Centre; the dentist and schools. These villages have a significant elderly and caring population who rely on this bus to get to vital appointments and to get prescriptions from the local pharmacy’s. Not only will residents be unable to access their doctor’s surgery there will also be no way of getting to get to the local hospitals and walk in centres such as Upton Hospital, Wexham Park Hospital and Heatherwood Hospital.
Other valuable institutions that will be affected are the Datchet Library and the local churches who are a vital safe haven for so many in our community. Pupils from Magna Carter School, Churchmead School and others, will be prevented from a safe journey to and from school.
In short stopping the number 10 bus route will split our village communities. It will place an extra burden on our already stretched community services such as district nurses and doctors who will have to increase home visits. It will cause an increase in isolation for so many who are the very people Windsor & Maidenhead and Slough councils have a statutory responsibility to protect.
The withdrawal of the No10 bus service without a lawful public consultation would be in clear violation of the Disability Discrimination Act, the Windsor & Maidenhead transport Plan 2012 – 2026, and The Transport Act 2000.
In the Windsor and 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 Council’s various service areas, as well as from external partners and service providers”.
The withdrawing of the No10 route is not 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”
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 under all three documents that both the RBWM & Slough BC ensure a continuation of the No 10 bus route or like for like service, albeit if necessary by a new provider.
A very comprehensive public consultation was undertaken to produce the RBWM Transport Plan – 2012 – 2026, 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 No 10 takes place.
We ask that the RBWM, Slough Borough Council, and Heathrow Airport Limited work together to ensure the continuance of this route.
We look forward to a receiving a comprehensive response to this correspondence and the publication of a plan of how RBWM and SBC will proceed to prevent the closure of the No10 bus route (amongst other under the First Bus banner) and in turn prevent contravention of the Transport Act 2000, The Disability Discrimination Act, and your own Transport Plan 2012 – 2026.