At the same Derbyshire County Council cabinet meeting that has put the future of our libraries under threat, there was also a report proposing reductions and a wider review of some of the current bus services subsidies across Derbyshire.
Derbyshire County Council advises that nearly all of these contracts involve :
‘enhancements to bus services, such as funding for early morning, evening, or Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday journeys. Consequently, only a small proportion of journeys for the services involved would be affected by these proposals.’
The report recommended that 13 contracts should not be renewed and they advised that it was ‘anticipated that these journeys will be replaced with commercial alternatives’, along with a number of services that should not be renewed due to the high subsidy cost per passenger.
However, in the case of the High Peak – High Peak Buses, has already decided that in the case of some of the services listed, there won’t be a ‘commercial alternative’ and instead the service will be either be partially or completely removed.
The changes for High Peak Buses (at current) are as follows and come into effect from 27th May 2018 :
Service 61 - Glossop – New Mills – Whaley Bridge – Buxton
The currently hourly service on Sunday’s and bank holidays, will be replaced with a 2-hourly service running at 9, 11, 2 and 4 from Glossop to Buxton and a 6.00pm Glossop to Hayfield journey, and running from Buxton to Glossop at 10, 12, 3 and 5, with a first journey at 8.41 from Hayfield to Glossop.
Service 442 – Buxton to Ashbourne including Fairfield to Harpur Hill on Sundays
The Sunday and Bank Holiday service are withdrawn.
Service Transpeak – Manchester to Derby via Buxton
This service will be operating on a revised timetable. New stops have been added in at Belper Fire Station and Babington Hospital. The 07:27 and 08:37 journeys will now start from Doveholes. The Monday to Friday, July/August extra journey to/from Manchester is being withdrawn. The 8:15 pm from Buxton and the 9:50 pm from Derby on Monday to Fridays is being withdrawn
Lastly in terms of the effect to the High Peak is a change from Hulleys with the withdrawal of the Sunday / Bank Holiday service on the 66 from Buxton to Chesterfield.
With further reviews in October, March and October 2019, the future for bus travel despite the Tory manifesto promise to ‘put people first’ seems grim.