Pitstone Parish Council (PPC) is creating a new Working Party dedicated to public transport services in and around our Parish. This is an open invitation to all Pitstone Parish residents, business owners and employees in our Parish with interest about public transport to join this group. This new working group is being formed due to an increase in concerns, PPC objectives and the need to bring in additional perspectives and expertise in this often technical area.
What is PPC currently doing?
- Liaise and lobby with Bucks County Council and public transport providers on behalf of the Parish
- Look after bus shelters
- Work towards providing new and better transport for the isolated, disabled and vulnerable (e.g. Community Buses and Dial-a-Rides)
- Working towards providing better access to Tring and Cheddington Stations, including new bus routes
- Communicate back to the Parish information from Bucks County Council and transport providers.
- Correspond with schools and colleges about school transportation
- Carry out local surveys
This list is not exhaustive, but should give you an idea. Time and resources dedicated to the above have steadily increased due to more objectives being set and increased threats and opportunities that are arising. As an example, the NDP set out the objectives to set up a Community Bus and bus routes to the local train stations. Money has and will be received from recent housing developments (S106) towards these but it is a technical and time consuming challenge to achieve these objectives. We have also had a recent significant change to our local buses due to Red Rose taking over the 61 bus route from Arriva, which presents both a threat and opportunity to our public buses. Bucks County Council often change public transport policies; for example they are proposing significant changes to school bus provision and we are one avenue through which correspondence and lobbying can be achieved.
So we have decided to create a new Working Party to work towards public transport objectives and enable better understanding and correspondence between us and Parish residents so we can correspond with and when necessary lobby other stakeholders. I will be the Chairman. My personal interest mainly arises out of previously being a regular bus user and a concern about the lack of services to stations and for vulnerable and isolated residents. But I am also a good example of where we care and are keen to move forwards, but our collective technical expertise is lacking.
For information, a Working Party is a sub-committee group of the Council, which allows us to invite people outside the Council to become involved. This is different from a sub-Committee as no powers will be devolved to the Working Party, as any recommendations will be passed back to the full Council to make a final decision. Given PPC only has limited direct responsibilities, it was thought better to establish this as a Working Party.
The Council has set some provisional objectives for this group, but these can be discussed and changed over time. However, it is important that this group does not become focused on any one particular objective, as the Council does have a responsibility to progress in a few different areas.
So if you are a regular user of local public transport services (or would like to be), have particular expertise or care about the provision of public transport and are 16+, live or work in the Parish, we would be very interested to hear from you.
Cllr Dr. Dave Frearson