including Haycombe, Inglesbatch, Kilkenny, Nailwell, Padleigh and Barrow Hamlet

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Monday 26th March 2018 at the Old School, Englishcombe 7:30pm

Agenda for 26th March 2018 Parish Council Meeting

Draft Minutes 26 February 2018 Planning Meeting

Possible loss of Bus Service -View

Coffee Mornings at the Old School

Thursdays 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 - 11:00am to 1:00pm

Family Services at the Salem Chapel

Sundays 4, 11, 18, 25 - 6:30pm

Services at St Peter Church

Sunday 4 - Family Service - 11:15am

Sunday 11 - MOTHERING SUNDAY - 4:00pm

Sunday 18 - Holy Communion - 11:15am

Friday 30 - GOOD FRIDAY SERVICE - 11:15am

Possible loss of Bus Service

Bath and North East Somerset Council are reviewing the provision of bus services and seek comments by email.
The council supports the 768 Service from Clutton to Bath via Englishcombe and Clandown.
This provides a daytime (Mon-Fri) service that provides links between:
* Clutton and Farrington Gurney to Midsomer Norton and Radstock
* Clandown, Camerton and Timsbury to Radstock and Bath
* Englishcombe and Priston to Bath
The service provides the only bus links between several communities and Bath, Midsomer Norton and Radstock, giving options for travel to work, shopping and leisure activities. It is recognised that alternative travel options in the rural area served by the service are very limited.
The cost of the service is partly offset by a developer contribution which will not be available after August 2018. Retention of the service in its current form will therefore increase the financial burden on the Council.
The service has suffered from repeated re-timetabling to adapt to changes in the commercial market. This has damaged user confidence in this service and led to a reduction in usage.

Council would like to hear your views on:
Replacement of off-peak services by development of Farecar (shared taxi services) for Englishcombe - Bath services


Points raised:
* The 768 bus service contributes to community cohesion, reduced pollution and traffic. It provides mobility when needed without the hassle, commitment and cost of organising a taxi.
* Englishcombe has already lost its school, shop, post office, mobile library and now faces losing much of its limited bus services.
* Surrounding areas and villages that are on the current bus route will be affected by the proposed changes.
* Historical reductions in the service and re-routing have resulted in reduced patronage. Due to changes, several people who used the 768 service in the past have reluctantly resorted to their cars.
* The loss of the Moorland Road stop reduced patronage by residents coming from all communities on the route.
* The loss of the saturday service has had a detrimental impact on traffic in Bath. School age children now require parents to drive them to weekend events.
* Reducing the services and changes in timetables and routes have already resulted in reducing use of the bus, as it becomes less and less convenient for journeys which have to be made for particular meetings or appointments, and people have less knowledge of when a bus is running.
* Use of buses changes according to the calendar, e.g. school holidays increase the use of the bus. A taxi service is not adequate for a family going out together in holidays, people with pushchairs etc.
* Regarding the first and last buses each day, the service would probably attract more commuters and more school children if it arrived into Bath by 8:15 and if the last bus left at 5:50.
* The provision of a bus service is a public service, not a privatised 'for profit' arrangement and, while money should not be wasted, it should not be discontiued or drastically cut simply because it does not make a profit.
* Is it legal to remove a free service for certain sections of the community?
* The need to retain this service was included in the approved Englishcombe Neighbourhood Plan 2014-2034 (Section 5 Facilities,Services and Amenities).The use of a Farecar would involve a (partially subsidised) taxi fare with no concessions.
* 72% of the journeys are concessions; many passengers are elderly or less mobile. People on low incomes would be trapped if there were no free public travel.
* The service has helped reduce loneliness by providing access to the 'outside world'. This is supposed to be a major aim of the current government. The users who benefit most in this respect are the least likely to organise a taxi.
* As further housing developments will affect the already increasing 'rat run' traffic through Englishcombe Parish, one would hope that the developers would contribute to an improved service, thereby encouraging less traffic on the country lanes.
* Why not 'think out of the box'. Use the bus to bring tourists for a Grand Day Out in the English Countryside?.. work with Farrington Gurney Farm, Newton St Loe Farm and other areas of interest with the help of Bath Tourist Board.