The Dial-a-Ride service and the 18 bus are again under threat from Oxfordshire County Council budget cuts. Residents have until 14 September to tell the County Council what they think - your public transport representative, Dennis Stukenbroeker, explains.
OCC intends to cut £2.6m from their supported transport services. This could mean that funding for Dial-a-Ride would be ended altogether and bus subsidies could also be ended or severely curtailed.
Dial-a-Ride is a door-to-door service for those who are unable or have difficulty using public transport, with trained drivers to assist the mobility impaired. OCC took it over in 2012. While a county council has a legal duty to have regard to the transport needs of the elderly and disabled, it is not required to provide a subsidised service. Instead, it is looking to volunteer community transport schemes, such as Eynsham Car Scheme, which itself is having difficulty recruiting volunteer drivers. OCC proposes to fund start-up schemes but no money will be available to existing groups. Eynsham Parish Council provides a grant to the Car Scheme.
OCC saved the fully-subsidised 18 bus route from Bampton to Oxford via Eynsham in its 2014 review. If it now decides to end all subsidies this would disappear. OCC’s preferred option is to reduce bus subsidies by £2.3m, which it says means the 18 route is at low risk of closure but one subsidised evening journey on the 11 Witney to Oxford run is likely to stop.
For more information and to comment visit https://consultations.oxfordshire.gov.uk/consult.ti/stconsultation/consultationHome