60/61 bus service latest information


Councillor Mark King has sent us this information.

The 60/61 route carries around 90,000 passengers a year, of which 80 % are concession fares, i.e free bus passes.
The Government (Department of Transport) provide guidance on how to calculate the rate for each operator / network. A very complex set of algorithms have been developed by Department for Transport economists to ensure that bus operators are no worse off, or no better off, from having to carry concessionary passengers free of charge.
With Local Link this year, running the data through the system has shown a reduction in the reimbursement that would be due to them. The rate is fluid based on operating costs / passenger numbers carried / route distances / capacity costs etc. etc.
It is very complex and difficult to explain, but Local Link data has basically shown that their reimbursement has to be lowered this year.
Obviously a loss in revenue for any company would require a review of how the company operates and how costs could be reduced, and so Local Link have responded by cutting the service 60 / 61. It is a commercial decision by Local Link, not a Council decision.
This service in particular has seen a reduction in concessionary passengers recently . Therefore it is not a great surprise that this route has now proven too marginal to continue operating commercially.
The Senior Leadership Team met on 12th April. The Senior Leadership Team are council officers, not elected members. They discussed options for the Council to subsidise a replacement service. The officer recommendation to councillors is not to provide any additional funding for this service.
This is unacceptable to myself, the mayor and the other ward councillors whose residents are affected by this service.
I have already proposed a motion to next months council meeting to ask members to approve the sum of up to £100,000 to tender a service for 12 months while we look to find a more permanent solution. However, if the the route continues not to be viable, it may be that the service will be lost. The Council cannot afford a £100,000 a year subsidy for a loss making route. 
I hope I can find a permanent solution and I am still working hard to do so.


Mark King
Conservative Party and Ward Councillor for Cockington with Chelston
Torbay Council.
Executive Lead for Housing, Planning, Transport and Waste.
Mobile 07873 254117

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