Transport chiefs at Morebus have pledged to keep 70% of their bus services running

Andrew Wickham

Andrew Wickham

First published in News by

TRANSPORT chiefs at Morebus have pledged to keep 70 per cent of their bus services running, following a County Hall decision to cut travel subsidies.

From April, three Morebus routes – the X8 from Poole to Blandford, the number 13 linking Bournemouth, Ferndown and Poole, and the Swanage to Poole Purbeck Breezer 40 service – will lose more than £215,000 of Dorset County Council subsidies.

This money was paid to ensure there was off peak, including evening, and Sunday timetables on these routes.

Now Morebus managing director Andrew Wickham has pledged to keep 70 per cent of bus services running on the three routes.

He said: “I feel that we must support the public who have grown to rely on these routes running in the evenings and weekends.”

However, evening services on the number 50 Swanage to Bournemouth service remain under threat, as Borough of Poole – which pays a subsidy on this route – is currently consulting on whether or not to pull its financial support.

If borough council officials decide to remove the £12,590 subsidy for Monday to Saturday’s route 50, passengers could find that instead of the last bus from Bournemouth leaving at 7.38pm, it could be as early as 5.38pm.

Borough of Poole insist its consultation is not about cancelling the evening services but whether or not to pull its financial backing. If the council were to press ahead, it would be up to the bus company to amend any of its timetables, council officials said.

Asked to respond to that eventuality, a Morebus spokesman told the Daily Echo: “We cannot make any decisions about the number 50 until we find out what Borough of Poole has decided.”

Regular Swanage passenger Jo Gwinnett, who uses the 50 to get to work in Bournemouth, said: “I think it’s a shame we could lose this service. Our only alternative would be two buses and a two hour journey home.”

n On the current Borough of Poole consultation, council passenger transport and accessibility manager John McVey said: “We would encourage anyone affected by the council’s proposals to respond to the consultation before the closing date of February 14.

“However, we will not be making any changes to the routes before April 2014 and any changes to route 50 will be effective from September 2014.”

Comments (9)

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1:31pm Fri 7 Feb 14

bsjc1234 says...

For years I have had my own little catch line for this company "More Bus - Less often" and now you can see why.
For years I have had my own little catch line for this company "More Bus - Less often" and now you can see why. bsjc1234
  • Score: 8

4:08pm Fri 7 Feb 14

BmthNewshound says...

So 30% of bus services are potentially under threat. Wilts & Dorset have spent a lot of money rebranding as Morebus, looks like that should have been Lessbus.
So 30% of bus services are potentially under threat. Wilts & Dorset have spent a lot of money rebranding as Morebus, looks like that should have been Lessbus. BmthNewshound
  • Score: 6

4:16pm Fri 7 Feb 14

arthur1948 says...

One every five minutes doesn't quite ring true...

Shady operators....


Welcome to private bus company world....


Too busy trying to outdo yellow buses..
One every five minutes doesn't quite ring true... Shady operators.... Welcome to private bus company world.... Too busy trying to outdo yellow buses.. arthur1948
  • Score: 6

5:31pm Fri 7 Feb 14

MJD says...

All this company is interested in is the profitable routs. Unlike Hants and Dorset was. Hants and Dorset believed that the unprofitable routes fed the profitable ones to make them more profitable and it worked. It would also help if they ran buses at time when patron most need them and work out timetables correctly for connections for onward journeys. The old Wilts and Dorset had a hand full of managers it is now to top heavy with managers.
All this company is interested in is the profitable routs. Unlike Hants and Dorset was. Hants and Dorset believed that the unprofitable routes fed the profitable ones to make them more profitable and it worked. It would also help if they ran buses at time when patron most need them and work out timetables correctly for connections for onward journeys. The old Wilts and Dorset had a hand full of managers it is now to top heavy with managers. MJD
  • Score: 2

7:25pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Derf says...

Here's a 'crazy, out there' idea Wilts & Dorset - stop running 2 or 3 M1 & M2's half empty nose to tail all day, it will save you money and allow you to prop up other routes.
Here's a 'crazy, out there' idea Wilts & Dorset - stop running 2 or 3 M1 & M2's half empty nose to tail all day, it will save you money and allow you to prop up other routes. Derf
  • Score: 9

10:06pm Fri 7 Feb 14

master plan says...

I hate the more bus company I can't see how going a handle full of stops is almost the same price as going the whole route????
Plus the customer service is the worst I have ever delt with
I hate the more bus company I can't see how going a handle full of stops is almost the same price as going the whole route???? Plus the customer service is the worst I have ever delt with master plan
  • Score: 1

10:39pm Fri 7 Feb 14

muscliffman says...

Derf wrote:
Here's a 'crazy, out there' idea Wilts & Dorset - stop running 2 or 3 M1 & M2's half empty nose to tail all day, it will save you money and allow you to prop up other routes.
Whilst it was normal practice many years ago under public (Council or Nationalised) ownership for regulated non-competing bus service Operator's to cross subsidise their profitable and loss making bus routes it can no longer be done - at least transparently.

Rules introduced after national bus service deregulation became law in the late 1980's would consider such a cross route (profit to loss) subsidy by any Operator as potentially anti-competitive - not least because it has been proven to have been done on many occasions for precisely that reason.

This leaves today's Operators with only two options, to run uneconomic routes at a loss and face the shareholders wrath or worse, or seek competitively awarded subsidies for those routes from the relevant local Authority.

If buses are to be regarded as not only a money making business but also a public (social) service) then it may be time to seek a political review of the entire way the industry is run and owned. Best of luck with that!
[quote][p][bold]Derf[/bold] wrote: Here's a 'crazy, out there' idea Wilts & Dorset - stop running 2 or 3 M1 & M2's half empty nose to tail all day, it will save you money and allow you to prop up other routes.[/p][/quote]Whilst it was normal practice many years ago under public (Council or Nationalised) ownership for regulated non-competing bus service Operator's to cross subsidise their profitable and loss making bus routes it can no longer be done - at least transparently. Rules introduced after national bus service deregulation became law in the late 1980's would consider such a cross route (profit to loss) subsidy by any Operator as potentially anti-competitive - not least because it has been proven to have been done on many occasions for precisely that reason. This leaves today's Operators with only two options, to run uneconomic routes at a loss and face the shareholders wrath or worse, or seek competitively awarded subsidies for those routes from the relevant local Authority. If buses are to be regarded as not only a money making business but also a public (social) service) then it may be time to seek a political review of the entire way the industry is run and owned. Best of luck with that! muscliffman
  • Score: 2

10:55pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Turtlebay says...

Pity the companies have to rely on pleasing share holders rather than pleasing their customers!
Pity the companies have to rely on pleasing share holders rather than pleasing their customers! Turtlebay
  • Score: 2

12:58pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Uptonian2 says...

They should be left to go under if they can't afford to run, no other Business gets handouts, especially mine!

Social breakdown is coming.
They should be left to go under if they can't afford to run, no other Business gets handouts, especially mine! Social breakdown is coming. Uptonian2
  • Score: 0

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