Cuts blamed for dispute

By Ross Findon

Friday, August 14, 2009

 

CUTS in bus journeys this winter have been blamed on the on-going dispute over funding for concessionary fares by Southern Vectis.

The company has released its winter timetable, announcing a reductions in journeys on some routes and the withdrawal of buses serving Bullen Cross and Pondwell.

"Our new winter timetable reflects the pressures on the business of running the Island’s buses.

"Sadly, some of the routes and journeys have had to be reduced following a further reduction in the payment we receive for journeys made using the free travel and student rider schemes," said the company in a statement on its website.

Southern Vectis has appealed against what it claims are unfairly low levels of subsidy from the Isle of Wight Council for running free travel for over 60s and concessionary fares for young people.

In its latest half yearly performance report Go Ahead Group, which owns Southern Vectis, announced higher than expected overall results and operating profits of more than £64 million but a £2.3 million reduction in operating profits for bus travel to £31.4 million.

Reporter: ross.findon@iwcp.co.uk

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