People have just under two weeks left to help shape the way bus services are run in Surrey.
The county council has been consulting on the third and final phase of a bus review, which aims to ensure services are run where they are needed most while saving millions of pounds on spiralling subsidy costs.
Those people who haven’t already given their views in the public consultation are asked to do so before a deadline of 31 January.
Ian Lake, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, said: “It’s vital that we offer the best possible services for as many people as we can while giving Surrey taxpayers maximum value for money.
“Surrey’s bus services became a hotch-potch of different routes over the years, which resulted in some routes not being used to their full potential. This review is an opportunity to go back to the drawing board to make sure services are run where they are needed most.
“It is only right that bus passengers help us change services and I thank those who have already been involved.”
The third and final stage of the bus review covers services in Epsom and Ewell, Mole Valley, Guildford and Waverley.
When the countywide review was launched two years ago, the council subsidised three out of four of the 250 services in Surrey because they were not commercially viable for bus operators.
After the review’s first phase*, five new Sunday services were included in the timetable because residents said they wanted them introduced and £1.7m was also saved for taxpayers.
The second stage** saw more buses running on routes where demand was strong and fewer services where use was lower, while saving £800,000. In both cases, the changes were shaped by the views of residents.
The full details of the proposals and information on ways for people to give their views can be found at www.surreycc.gov.uk/busreview. Information is also available in Surrey’s libraries or by calling 03456 009009.
If agreed, any changes in phase three of the bus review would take place from September 2012.
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Notes to editors
* Covering Elmbridge, Runnymede, Spelthorne, east Woking and Reigate and Banstead.
** In Surrey Heath, west Woking (including some services in Guildford) and Tandridge.
The subsidy for public bus services in Surrey tripled in the eight years from 2001, leaving taxpayers to pick up the bill. By 2009, the cost was £11 million and it would have reached £13m by 2012 without action being taken.