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This is an archive page with data from the Option 24/7 2016 campaign.
For Bus Back Better (2021) we are updating information at

Public Transport the way forward • (link - 2021 front page)

Meeting - Buses, Melksham, Future - 7th February 2020 at The Canberra Centre at 7.p.m.
It's a public meeting - all welcome - see [[here]] for further details.

Update - 1st February 2020 - in the last few days, First have announced that their D3 service from Bath to Melksham, with extensions in the evenings and on Sundays to Devizes and Urchfont, won't run after 4th April. Although members may be sad to see this go (for old time's sake - it's the end of an era) it makes logical sense for a single planned timetable to be offered on this flow, rather than two independent tiemtables fighting each other for passengers. But the question arises - "what now"?. A suggestion from the option 24/7 team may be found [[here]]; doubtful that can be achieved for April, but with interim work to patch up the gaps left by the end of D3, we may be able to make a start by ensuring that amended commercial services are tuned as far as practical to wider network intergration now that the competition has been beaten.

Update - 19th November 2019 - Since our last update, we have seen many changes on buses and bus routes. Of particuar note, the Climate / sustainabiity agenda has come much to the forefront, and Extinction Rebellion has also come to the fore. Some may question their methods, but they've certainly help bring the need for a sustainable future to public attention - and a typical bus journey generates just a third of the CO2 of a similar car journey. Of course, the bus may be going anyway (so virtually zero cost for your seat) but the the car makes a special trip. To a very great extent, we succeeded in 2016 in bringing buses and the need to do things better to the fore; witness the funding cut far lower than any of the options offered in consultation. We expect a busy 2020 in a very changed enviroment. Read about it on our Facebook group - 23 posts / messages / reactions in the last 28 days.

Update - 21st May 2017 - Bus services Bill became Bus Services Act at the start of the month; new cabinet portfolio holder for highways and transport appointed shortly after local elections on 4th May. Many services to be retendered this summer / autumn, with operating contracts for supported services to run from January 2018. Watch this space for an update before the first weekend in June; we are meeting council officers next week.

Update - 8th October 2016 - Wilsthire Council has decided to cut £500k from next year's bus budget rather than five times that amount which was their least draconian financial option in the consultation. Excellent news; perhaps not sustainable to future years, but a real window of opportunity which possibility they acknowledge in their reports. See [here] for initial links and info.

Previous text

The "bus consultation" has closed (4 April 2016). A big THANK YOU to everyone who responded, whether or not you supported the option 247 proposals on this web site. We understand there have been over 10,000 11,500 responses, confirming how important public transport is to people.

If you missed the consultation, don't worry. There have been sufficient inputs to ensure that Option 24/7 is carefully considered over the next weeks, with the option 24/7 team looking to assist Wiltshire Council in the evaluation. Please feel free to join the option247 facebook group, or to sign up via 'contact us' page.

We're not calling on you to shout your support for Option 247 this month (May 2016). We don't want you to get "campaign fatigue". We want you to keep fresh so that you can help us later on. Wiltshire Council has a positive window of opportunity as it reviews and amends the public transport provision in the county - and a very interested community in helping them do so in a way that's positive for us all.

Update Mid May - the Bus Services Bill has been published and appears to be very much in line (as widely predicted) with Option 24/7. We are reading into this and briefing as appropriate.

Text of this page to 4th April 2016

We encourage respondents to the Wiltshire Council's bus subsidy consultation to request the council to take a look at the complete public transport network and not only at what's needed on the individual branch line routes. We believe there is a more advantageous alternative, and have called this "Option 24/7".

There are significant council subsidy savings to be made in each of the areas that you are being asked to comment on. But these savings are not made by cutting routes and services in isolation from each other, which is the gist of the questions being asked on the consultation. Rather, by looking at a total transport -- an integrated network and quality scheme that is already used in some areas -- existing resources can be used better. And a better system and network will help fill empty seats. We ask you to say "no" to isolationist cuts and write in your preference for a better scheme: Option 24/7 Case Outline.

This option is supported by Chippenham MP Michelle Donelan, and is in line with the buses bill proposals due next month. It is not offered as an option on the consultation because that consultation was based on work started in May 2015, before there was a likelihood of government action to resolve constraints that now force our local council to consider unprofitable bus routes in isolation from profitable commercial ones.

Learn About Options

The Wiltshire Council subsidised bus consultation ran until 4th April 2016 and archive copies can be found on our links page. Read the government's proposal as it currently stands: First draft. Take a look at Michelle Donelan's thoughts on Option 24/7: Chippenham MP's response.

Our Recommended Action

If you support the suggestions from Michelle Donelan MP, from central government, and from ourselves, we suggested consultation responses that include your indication of that support in answer to question 25. Enough people did so (thank you) for our suggestion to come to the notice of the consultation team.

Let Us Know Your Interest

We want to hear from you too. Please fill in our form to let us know your thoughts, suggestions, and if you responded to the council's bus subsidy consultation. Response Form

Spread the Word

Please ask your friends, family, colleagues and fellow travellers to take an interest too! If you're in any doubt about something, please use the contact form to get in touch; we'll be happy to answer you by email, or on Facebook or Twitter. And if your question has common interest, we'll add it to our Frequently Asked Questions.