It is extremely easy to respond to West Northamptonshire Council's current Interim Bus Policy consultation. Apart from the usual questions about you there are only three multiple choice questions and a free text comment box to complete. The consultation closes on 12 November.
We at CA-WN have responded and we encourage everyone to do the same because public transport plays such a vital role in promoting sustainable travel. Efficient and reliable bus services could significantly improve the quality of life in our towns and villages and address the financial, environmental and social challenges that are associated with having to rely on private car use.
The multiple choice questions ask if you are supportive of 3 priorities for the interim policy. These are difficult to argue against (one is actually a statutory duty), so we ticked the 'Agree' box for all. The more important point is that these priorities are limited in scope, so we reflected this in our comments (below). Feel free to use as much of this text as you want to provide comments for your own response to the consultation.
Climate Action-West Northamptonshire supports the 3 priorities put forward. These are all necessary to the provision of a bus service that meets the needs of residents. However, without other more detailed priorities, these will not deliver a public transport network that meets the current and future needs of WN residents.
It is noted that this is an interim policy only, pending completion of a new Local Transport Plan for WN.
These 3 basic policy priorities should be updated and added to as soon as possible to reflect the new LTP once available. Priorities for a permanent Bus Policy must include consideration of public transport as an active component in a future sustainable transport network i.e. looking not only at meeting current needs but how the bus service can help activate the shift away from personal cars which is needed to reduce GHG emissions, and support increased use of active travel.
The consultation and supporting documents are here:
The two supporting documents are reports from consultants employed to carry out a review of existing bus services (including community and voluntary services). They are quite interesting if that's your sort of thing but you don't need to read them to understand and respond to the consultation. And a reminder, the consultation closes on 12 November.