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Evil Sid

warrington bus war

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How much was the loan Steve?

The so-called "bail out" was £650,000 two years ago, on a fixed repayment schedule of which 40% has been repaid. A short-term overdraft of £500,000 last year has already been repaid in full.

 

In the context of the Council's historic capital investment in the company, that's not that big a deal. When set up 30 years ago the company had a £600,000 debenture loan from the Council (within the Department of Transport guidance for municipal bus companies) and further loans made to buy new buses. These were repaid around 10 years ago (originally due 2001) then out of profits the company actually made some dividend payments to the Council, before the recession and other factors led to a national decrease in bus patronage, and the difficulties that meant reduced services and higher fares. (Several local small companies have gone to the wall.) What is unquantifiable is the benefit the Council (and the public) gets from having a company that does run a service at "marginal" times when the "big boys" would not, who would leave the Council to pay for "socially necessary" services. A conservative estimate is that that's worth half a million pounds a year - but as the Council doesn't have that sort of dosh to spend on subsidising services, that would mean lots more cuts in services.

 

I may well decline to go further into detail - anyone can look at the company's published accounts.

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Network Warrington has repaid the "bail-out" (i.e. loan). Interesting that the press picked up on the loan in the council agendas but not its repayment.

 

 

So when you said this it wasn't true then?

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or is this true?

 

The so-called "bail out" was £650,000 two years ago, on a fixed repayment schedule of which 40% has been repaid. 

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Sorry, I confused the original loan ("bail-out") with last year's short-term loan. The latter (being short term) has been completely repaid, the earlier loan is being repaid on schedule (rather than has been repaid).

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Surely any funding to pay for sustained out of peak services in order to encourage public transport use should be a liability for central government as part of its green credentials & not left to any local authority to finance.

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Surely any funding to pay for sustained out of peak services in order to encourage public transport use should be a liability for central government as part of its green credentials & not left to any local authority to finance.

I wonder if there's anything left out of that £4.65 million the government gave to WBC to improve local transport in May 2012?

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Surely any funding to pay for sustained out of peak services in order to encourage public transport use should be a liability for central government as part of its green credentials & not left to any local authority to finance.

 

 

You'd think so, but in case you hadn't noticed, we just had an election which will mean local authorities will have less money for everything including public transport.

 

I wonder if there's anything left out of that £4.65 million the government gave to WBC to improve local transport in May 2012?

 

Not much, and general subsidy for bus services wasn't part of it. The orbital (17) route didn't really fulfil its promise of linking employment sites with across the north of town (the bit from Callands to Birchwood carried few passengers) so without that funding element, it's been cut back to just a cross-town service (effectively an 18 on the west side and the old 24 route on the east). That's one of the reasons behind the loss of passeengers - the ideal is a "hub" operation between the town centre (where people work) to suburbs where people live, but there are so many out-of-town office / work areas now that it's impossible to put on buses to multiple "hubs". www.warrington.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/3038/lstf_executive leads to the list of the LSTF projects. Most seem to be completed or in hand.

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You'd think so, but in case you hadn't noticed, we just had an election which will mean local authorities will have less money for everything including public transport.

 

Not quite everything Steve. Some things are ring-fenced. Not services for residents, obviously.   

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There are also on going issues with accessibility- Network Warrington offers plenty of low floor access for our disabled citizens as well as parents with buggies.

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