CUT IN BUS FARES SUBSIDY AGREED

By Martin Neville

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

 

THE IW Council is to seek a cut in the subsidy it pays to Southern Vectis for concessionary fares.

The IW Council’s cabinet committee was told last night (Tuesday) the bus company would make profit if the current subsidy level of 76.1 per cent was continued in 2008-9, because far more journeys were being taken than was originally foreseen.

Government advice is that bus operators must be no better or worse off as a result of the concessionary bus fares scheme.

The cabinet agreed to seek a cut in the subsidy to 48 per cent through consultation.

Southern Vectis told the County Press last week the new level would leave it out of pocket by more than £1 million and force it to increase normal fares by up to 54 per cent.

At last night’s meeting, councillors also approved a comprehensive package of concessionary bus travel, which not only includes the requirements of the new national free travel scheme, but also continues free travel for the over 60s during peak hours and on IslandLine rail services.

Subsidised travel for those with severe and enduring mental health issues was also agreed.

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