In March 2014, the Western Wards People’s Voice launched their #MoreBuses petition. By August 2014, the South East Hampshire Green Party (true to their values) officially endorsed the petition. Since then there has been over 300 signatures on paper petitions and almost to their 200 signature goal on Change.org. You can sign it online here.
Buses are an important service that, ideally, should be run by local authorities. Since the Transport Act 1985, buses have been completely privatised. However they can be subsidised by local authorities, in this case Hampshire County Council. The situation we have with the austerity measures imposed on local authorities by central government is that these subsidies are being slashed, meaning many socially necessary routes have been axed.
What this means for areas like Warsash in the Fareham Borough, is that people who can’t drive for whatever reason have no alternative than paying quite a significant amount of money for taxis. Not everyone can afford that. The council have offered a “TaxiShare Scheme” that, quite frankly, isn’t good enough. With limited days and times, it’s not ideal for those who want to be independent. We need more buses.
This also has a huge impact on places like Whiteley. The shopping centre employs many people across the Western Wards of Fareham, many of whom are young people. Quite a number of these people have no alternative to drive, get a lift or spend most of their wages on taxis! On the petition, many of the store managers have said that buses are crucial to the survival of Whiteley as a place of employment.
There is also the much issue of reducing our carbon footprint. Fareham was named the MOST CAR DEPENDENT TOWN IN THE UK in July 2014. This is not an award, this is a major concern! More buses would mean less cars on the road, meaning less carbon emissions fuelling climate change.
For our economy, planet, and our people. Sign this petition.