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Cash boost for Torbay bus services

Tuesday, 13 February 2024 14:00

By Guy Henderson - Local Democracy Reporter @GuyAHenderson

Bus travel (Picture courtesy: Ant Rozetsky/Unsplash)

Investment will provide 'secure and stable' network

Bus services across Torbay are in line for a £220,000 boost.

An eight-year plan has been drawn up for subsidised routes, and Torbay Council is ready to put £220,000 behind it.

A report to the council’s powerful cabinet committee says: “The outcome will be to provide a secure and stable bus network for residents and businesses of Torbay, as well as visitors to the area.”

The bay’s current subsidised services contract expires next month, and the new one will run until March 2032. Its aims include reducing isolation in local communities and cutting carbon emissions by encouraging people to take public transport.

Bus use has not recovered to pre-covid levels, but the report points out that more than 23 per cent of households in Torbay don't have access to private vehicles and around the same proportion have have a disability that can affect their ability to travel.

The population over 65 and entitled to a free bus pass is well above the national average.

Councils are expected to subsidise services where they are ‘socially necessary’ but commercial operators won’t run them. Almost 90 per cent of people using subsidised buses in Torbay are elderly or disabled.

The council had already committed to spend £150,000 on the services but has now decided to add another £70,000 in its final budget.

The supported services in Torbay include:

  • 15 Brixham Town Service via Summercourt Way/Higher Ranscombe Road (operated by Country Bus);
  • 16 Brixham Town Service via South Bay Holiday Park (Country Bus);
  • 25 Paignton Morrisons - Bus Station - Youngs Park, Goodrington (Torbay Buses);
  • 60 Paignton - Preston - Occombe Farm - Livermead (Torbay Buses);
  • 61 Brixham Town Service via Summercourt Way/Higher Ranscombe Road (TCDT);
  • 62 Torquay Meadfoot - Seafront - Cockington (Torbay Buses);
  • 64 Torquay Castle Circus - Middle Warberry Road (Torbay Buses);
  • 65 Paignton Morrisons - Bus Station - Youngs Park, Goodrington (TCDT).
  • 108 Paignton - Great Parks - Foxhole (Torbay Buses);
  • 109 Paignton - Great Parks - Foxhole (Torbay Buses).

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