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Gary

Warrington's traffic issues - what are the solutions?

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Given that buses are available FREE to OAPs, but most still use their cars; suggests that free buses alone aren't the complete answer; there would need to be a financial disincentive to using a car. Unfortunately, this Gov is moving in the opposite direction, they've scrapped the tax disc and have lost revenues and reduced car tax on eco-friendly cars; rather than increasing tax on polluting cars.

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They might have scrapped the requirement to display a tax disc, but they haven't removed the requirement to pay road tax.

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Given that buses are available FREE to OAPs, but most still use their cars; suggests that free buses alone aren't the complete answer; there would need to be a financial disincentive to using a car. Unfortunately, this Gov is moving in the opposite direction, they've scrapped the tax disc and have lost revenues and reduced car tax on eco-friendly cars; rather than increasing tax on polluting cars.

 

It would be interesting to see free bus pass use compared to car use if the issue of mobility cars was taken out of the equation. Apart from clogging up our roads though  they are keeping the car industry afloat.

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Given that buses are available FREE to OAPs, but most still use their cars; suggests that free buses alone aren't the complete answer; there would need to be a financial disincentive to using a car. Unfortunately, this Gov is moving in the opposite direction, they've scrapped the tax disc and have lost revenues and reduced car tax on eco-friendly cars; rather than increasing tax on polluting cars.

 

Perhaps anyone accepting a free bus pass should then relinquish their driving licence ?  If they wish to drive they should lose the right to free bus travel :wink:

 

 

  ( That should get the silver surfers frothing)

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Council members get no remuneration as directors of a municipal bus company. The law requires a minimum of 3 executive directors and a maximum of 7 non-exec directors.

 

Steve you say there has to be a minimum of 3 exec directors and a max of 7 non exec directors. You say the law requires this - which 'law' are you talking about here?  You would be required to abide by the companies constitution / Articles of Association however the contents of which would have been decided by WBC/Network Warrington. Yet you seem to imply that there was no choice in the matter.

 

Exactly how many exec and non exec make up the present 11 directors?

Also, as Baz has mentioned there are other forms of  'benefits' which company directors may receive  - what if any, kinds of benefits do exec and non exec directors of Network Warrington get?

You say Network Warrington are 'accountable' as they publish accounts. The accounts published do not include the finer details, the wages of directors are included in a lump sum of all staff wages.  if as you say non exec directors don't get paid these would presumably be the wages of exec directors?

Additionally, in this year's accounts is the amount of £35,319 for 'Director's pension scheme'. Do all directors benefit from this or just the exec directors?  because if this is just for 3 exec directors then it would mean circa £12k each pension fund on top of their set wage!!!!!!  If this is so I think the majority of the general public would regard the term 'milking it' as a mild description. 

If the pension fund is distributed between all directors (exec and non exec) then your saying "council members get no remuneration" is somewhat misleading.

 

Additionally, as grey-man has pointed out there is more to 'accountability' than publishing accounts.

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Perhaps anyone accepting a free bus pass should then relinquish their driving licence ?  If they wish to drive they should lose the right to free bus travel :wink:

 

 

  ( That should get the silver surfers frothing)

Doesn't bother me, I don't have a car to drive :lol: :lol:

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Doesn't bother me, I don't have a car to drive :lol: :lol:

 

I realise that this may come as a shock but it isn't all about you. :D

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If car tax were increased sufficiently, all bus travel could be free to all - then folk could choose the lesser evil.

 

Car tax has been put onto so called eco-friendly cars which were previously free.... Personally I think the tax levels on some cars are ridiculously low. My wife drives a 2 litre turbo charged diesel mini and pays only £30.00 a year road tax regardless of how many miles she drives. My Merc costs over £400 a year to tax and even my 1977 MK1 Granada costs £241.00 a year (Although in 2 years time it will become tax free if the rolling classic status continues) and it does about a 1000 miles at best. The whole thing needs to be better balanced

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I realise that this may come as a shock but it isn't all about you. :D

bovvered.jpg

Am I bothered? Not a bit :lol:

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Steve,  try to be honest in your answer to this, it isn't a trick or leading question,  do you believe that the pricing of bus travel in this town ( excluding Fairbrothers Pound to Town)  is attractive enough to get people out of their cars ?  A simple yes or no will suffice.

 

No.

 

Except in areas where congestion and/or lack of city centre parking discourages car use (e.g. London, Edinburgh), all bus companies rely on (and therefore have to serve) those who themselves rely on the bus (who don't have access to a car). Many are "discretionary" travellers - i.e, they don't have to use public transport for work, so will travel less often if fares are high. For those who do need public transport to get to work, high fares are of course a disincentive to bus use - so people look for work closer to home (or get the bike out). But in economics terms, bus pricing is still inelastic so fare rises usually end up with increased revenue - or (coming from the other direction) a fare cut of 25% would need an increase in custom of 33% to break even.

 

After sustaining passenger numbers when they were falling elsewhere, in Warrington (for various reasons, some known, some we can only guess at * ) the slump happened belatedly (and before the recent fare rises). But it's happening all over: http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2015/10/03/numbers-using-the-bus-in-west-midlands-hits-30-year-low/  

 

* Why did pensioners suddenly stop using their bus passes? Had the novelty worn off? Some of it's down to the government delaying when people get the bus pass (it's still at 60 in Scotland and Wales) but that can't explain why national bus use by pass holders dropped off. (Was it lack of money meant pensioners didn't see any point in going to town if they couldn't afford to spend when in town?)

 

I've gone beyond the simple "no" to get past the usual stuff of "bad management" and the simplistic solution of cut fares and they will come.

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 and the simplistic solution of cut fares and they will come.

 

Increase them and they will go.

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Steve you say there has to be a minimum of 3 exec directors and a max of 7 non exec directors. You say the law requires this - which 'law' are you talking about here?  You would be required to abide by the companies constitution / Articles of Association however the contents of which would have been decided by WBC/Network Warrington. Yet you seem to imply that there was no choice in the matter.

 

Exactly how many exec and non exec make up the present 11 directors?

Also, as Baz has mentioned there are other forms of  'benefits' which company directors may receive  - what if any, kinds of benefits do exec and non exec directors of Network Warrington get?

You say Network Warrington are 'accountable' as they publish accounts. The accounts published do not include the finer details, the wages of directors are included in a lump sum of all staff wages.  if as you say non exec directors don't get paid these would presumably be the wages of exec directors?

Additionally, in this year's accounts is the amount of £35,319 for 'Director's pension scheme'. Do all directors benefit from this or just the exec directors?  because if this is just for 3 exec directors then it would mean circa £12k each pension fund on top of their set wage!!!!!!  If this is so I think the majority of the general public would regard the term 'milking it' as a mild description. 

If the pension fund is distributed between all directors (exec and non exec) then your saying "council members get no remuneration" is somewhat misleading.

 

Additionally, as grey-man has pointed out there is more to 'accountability' than publishing accounts.

 

The 3 / 7 derives from s.73 of the 1985 Transport Act, and http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1985/1901/contents/made. The company has no choice (actually it's the Council as controlling authority which has no choice).

 

I'm not divulging individual pay rates, but (as one comparison) the employers contribution for the teachers pension scheme is now 16%, for the police it's 24%.

 

"Council members get no remuneration". Full stop. No pay, no pension. I've got a director's bus pass - but I usually use my concessionary pass as that gives the company some income.

 

 

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No.

 

Except in areas where congestion and/or lack of city centre parking discourages car use (e.g. London, Edinburgh), all bus companies rely on (and therefore have to serve) those who themselves rely on the bus (who don't have access to a car). Many are "discretionary" travellers - i.e, they don't have to use public transport for work, so will travel less often if fares are high. For those who do need public transport to get to work, high fares are of course a disincentive to bus use - so people look for work closer to home (or get the bike out). But in economics terms, bus pricing is still inelastic so fare rises usually end up with increased revenue - or (coming from the other direction) a fare cut of 25% would need an increase in custom of 33% to break even.

 

After sustaining passenger numbers when they were falling elsewhere, in Warrington (for various reasons, some known, some we can only guess at * ) the slump happened belatedly (and before the recent fare rises). But it's happening all over: http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2015/10/03/numbers-using-the-bus-in-west-midlands-hits-30-year-low/

 

* Why did pensioners suddenly stop using their bus passes? Had the novelty worn off? Some of it's down to the government delaying when people get the bus pass (it's still at 60 in Scotland and Wales) but that can't explain why national bus use by pass holders dropped off. (Was it lack of money meant pensioners didn't see any point in going to town if they couldn't afford to spend when in town?)

 

I've gone beyond the simple "no" to get past the usual stuff of "bad management" and the simplistic solution of cut fares and they will come.

 

And still you haven't answered why Warrington's fares are 50 percent higher than in comparable towns. Nor why the man who is paid very well to lead the company goes AWOL whenever he's needed to prove he's in charge. The very definition of a coward. Not helped by the fact his board of directors are (for whatever reason) unwilling to ask him to do his job. And if you need me to say this to his and your faces, I'll happily do it.   

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I see diesel prices are continuing to fall. I suspect that this will mean one of two things from Warrington's bus company. It will either continue to see this as a chance to whack prices up to exploit local people, in which case Damian Graham may well be on holiday again on the day that is announced or just stick his fingers in his ears and sing la la la until his horrible customers leave him alone as he has this year. Or the fares will stay roughly the same or increase in line with inflation, in which case he'll discover he is able to do his job after all and answer questions from the people who really own the business. 

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Been through twice this morning and even with the two accidents on the motorways he traffic was light. Mind you the first time was about 7.45 and the second was around 9.45. don't know if that makes any difference or not.

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