Bus survey branded nonsense and meaningless

CLEVEDON councillors are calling for answers after labelling a recent bus survey as ‘nonsense’ and ‘meaningless’.

Clevedon Town Council’s transport and highways committee has written to North Somerset Council in criticism of its consultation held before announcing cuts to its supported bus services.

The unitary authority has already revealed the changes it will make to currently-subsidised routes to save �340,000 in 2012/13.

Town council committee members saw the survey results at a meeting on January 11.

Councillor David Shopland said: “562 responses out of a possible 160,000 residents is not a meaningful survey.”

Cllr Jane Geldart said: “The results aren’t made town-specific.

“I just don’t think this is very informative at all

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“Some of the sample numbers are too small and would never be used in proper market research.”

However, North Somerset Council’s executive member for transport and highways Elfan Ap Rees disagrees.

He said: “The deadline was extended, notices were put on bus stops, etc, so we had to accept the responses were from those people who use the buses and who felt strongly about it.

“In that sense I think the consultation was absolutely credible.

“The problem we have, simply, is there are not enough people using buses.”

In response to July’s consultation, Clevedon Town Council emphasised the need to retain the 800 service, which is used by many elderly people to access the town centre.

However, this will be cut from April, with North Somerset Council hoping passengers will use other services.

Cllr Trevor Morgan said: “We responded to the consultation by saying that out of all the bus services in the community, the 800 is the one which was needed the most.

“The results which have been put to us are nonsense.”

Cllr Ap Rees added: “We made the decision that in Clevedon there are still credible bus services.

“The only change really is that some people may have to change buses to get from A to B rather than staying on the same bus.

“I think Clevedon Town Council needs to understand that in some rural areas they are lucky if they get a bus service twice a week.”

* For a list of all bus cuts due to affect the area click on the link at the top right of this page.

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