Below is the response that I finally received from Cllr Jamieson, leader of Central Bedfordshire Council on 9th September regarding the bus cuts to the 85/85A and 188/190 bus services due to take place from 30th September. I’d like to say it was a personal letter, but the reality is that as other people have received exactly the same letter it is little more than a press release.
~ Cllr Jamieson states that they have retained the majority of the town service. This is not the case as they have now made the service every two hours rather than hourly in each direction and also drastically cut the early and late bus services. The 85A is reduced from 16 services a day to only 6 services. The 85 is reduced from 14 services a day to only 6.
You can check the numbers by following the links below, type in a weekday before/after the 30th September and see the difference for yourself:
~ It is then suggested that passenger numbers on the early morning services between Sandy, Potton and Biggleswade mean it is uneconomic. Well yes that is what happens when you cut the evening services, which central beds Council did in the last set of cuts. Commuters therefore cannot get home from the station so are forced to drive both ways.
~ The letter goes on to say that bus services will continue to operate from the villages before 09.00 on a daily basis. This is certainly not the case for Blunham village where the first bus will now be 10.12 rather than 08.12. Also the later start up will mean that the first bus for Dunton and Eyeworth commuters into London will now be the 08.41 rather than the 07.45 and this will mean the earliest they will be able to get into London is around 10.14. In reality of course passengers will be forced to use their cars. You can check the 188/190 bus times below, again type in a weekday before/after the 30th September to see the difference:
~ the letter states that the council fully consulted on their ‘passenger transport policy’. This consultation was three years ago and the way the consultation was carried out was very inadequate with the initial survey results strongly against the changes only for the council to conduct a very dubious telephone poll to get the answers they wanted.
~ The letter talks about a £200 million fund for sustainable buses which is of course welcomed. However, this is a national programme, which Bedfordshire will probably see very little of once divided among all the other councils across the country. By the time we get the money to ‘green’ the buses there may not be many of them left the way the Council are cutting our public transport.
~ These cuts come on top of previous cuts made by this council to Sunday bus services as well as cutting early and late buses. I’ve already had correspondence from people who will lose their bus. The population of this area is expanding rapidly and we need more buses not more cuts.
~ Central Bedfordshire Council must play their part in dealing with the Climate Emergency, but it’s clear from their transport policies that they are unwilling or unable to do so. We must make buses a viable option for commuters across our area.
~ I’m pleased to see that others have know joined me in demanding a full and proper consultation to take place and a postponement of the proposed cuts. It is very important that as many people as possible do the same – people pressure does work!
~ Please let me know the effects the cuts will have on you or your family.
What can you do?
Follow our new Facebook page ‘Bedfordshire Bus Cuts’
You can email Cllr Jamieson (the leader of the council) at:
and/or Central Bedfordshire’s Public Transport Manager Adrian Hardy at:
(both these email addresses are available publicly)
There is an alternative….
A Labour government will support our local bus services and see treat them as vital assets to our communities and a means of reducing our reliance on the car. You can read about Labour’s bus policy here:
Labour announces new funding to reverse Tory cuts to 3,000 bus routes
Only a Labour government will support your public transport.