COUNCIL ISSUE £4.6MILLION REIMBURSEMENT TO HELP KEEP SOUTHERN VECTIS RUNNING

The Isle of Wight Council is paying Southern Vectis £4.6million to help keep the service going as it continues to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The reimbursement to the major bus operator was agreed upon at the council’s cabinet meeting on Monday night as numbers using public transport remain low.

While Southern Vectis say it is back to operating 100% of its bus mileage levels, and even above, the reported number of passengers is only up to 80% of the levels they were in 2019.

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The Isle of Wight Council, in line with the Department for Transport’s alternative COVID-19 recovery strategy, will now reimburse bus operators until the end of March next year, based on the levels of service it provides and the number of concessionary fares.

For example, if Southern Vectis ran 80% of its services, it would receive 80% of the concessionary fares.

In the financial year coming, the Isle of Wight Council has worked out, based on previous years’ figures for more than 3 million passengers paying a concessionary fare, it will pay £4,691,602.09 to Southern Vectis.

Cabinet also agreed to develop a business case, with the potential to ringfence funding, to see whether further money would be necessary to maintain the level of service.

There were concerns in the County Hall chamber that the reduced passenger numbers could lead to a reduction in services, particularly in rural areas.

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Councillor Jordan said it was an ongoing concern but the authority was committed to the recently introduced enhanced partnership between the Isle of Wight Council and Southern Vectis and the resulting bus service improvement plan.

The partnership missed out on government funding to deliver the improvement plan, but Councillor Jordan said some of its aspirations would be delivered.

Operators of the community buses — the West Wight’s FYT bus and Ventnor’s Service 31 — will also receive financial support.

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YJC
YJC
11 days ago

Southern Vectis has just accepted a £650 million pound takeover bid.

With petrol and car insurance costing more it may increase passenger numbers.

Also time to look at routes and serve areas currently without buses: Porchfield, Havenstreet, and Forest Road, Newport from Gunville traffic lights to top of Hunnyhill.

Mrs T
Mrs T
Reply to  YJC
11 days ago

Too many getting it free. Like prescriptions IF everyone paid something then it would make a big difference.

Yet too many just take

Rob Ashton
Rob Ashton
Reply to  Mrs T
11 days ago

The government are subsidising the free travel for certain groups.I expect you are driving and were happy to use the reduction in VAT on petrol. I also expect you will be happy to use the pay out later in the year to help with heating costs. Double standards me thinks.

Paul
Paul
Reply to  Rob Ashton
10 days ago

Actually, the vat reduction on fuel was never passed on to the motorists. The fuel companies kept it for themselves and the government did nothing to stop them.

Last edited 10 days ago by Paul
Terry
Terry
Reply to  Rob Ashton
10 days ago

Fuel duty was reduced by 5p a litre.
V.A.T. remained the same at 20%.

Pineapple
Pineapple
Reply to  Mrs T
8 days ago

Nothing is free!

Southern Vectis Manager
Southern Vectis Manager
Reply to  YJC
11 days ago

Forest Road and Newport from Gunville traffic lights to top of Hunnyhill are the same thing

Catherine Johnson
Catherine Johnson
Reply to  YJC
11 days ago

So, what you’re saying is they should run MORE services even though there’s not enough people using the buses on the routes they already serve?

Maybe (and it’s a slightly unpalatable thought) perhaps they need to run LESS buses on some routes? For instance, I think I’m right that a Number 9 bus leaves Newport Bus Station every 10 minutes throughout the day? Is that really necessary all day, every day? Maybe they could reduce the service between, say, 10am and 3pm – I’m assuming it’s busiest at times when people are going to and from work or school. Maybe then we’d see less buses driving around during the day with only 1 or 2 people on board.

ash
ash
Reply to  YJC
10 days ago

As a person living in porchfield it would be nice to have a bus service.

PomyC
PomyC
11 days ago

Public transport is public for that reason exactly. And it probably still costs us less than building and maintaining roads so a certain group of people can store their private possessions on them for free.

Bojosays?
Bojosays?
11 days ago

It’s strange how Grant Shapps doesn’t mention this? Southern vectis have already cancelled 3 services this morning, as shown on island echo twitter, but no big story yet again

Ben
Ben
11 days ago

Do we not get a big payout to help us recover from Covid I didn’t work for months lost loads of money but still had bills to pay

Not Happy
Not Happy
11 days ago

With the prices they charge should be the richest bus company in the UK what a complete bloody joke! And they’ve just put prices up

Still Waiting
Still Waiting
11 days ago

So the Council can give Southern Vectis £4.6 million but yet I’m still waiting for my £150 rebate. About time they got their priorities right.

Paul
Paul
Reply to  Still Waiting
10 days ago

Don’t hold your breath, they are too incompetent and corrupt to bother about priorities.

Qwerty King
Qwerty King
10 days ago

Why bother propping thi lot up? You need to re-mortgage just to get on a Southern Vectis bus these days.

Dave
Dave
10 days ago

Maybe they should look at the stock they use. The number 6 (Newport – Ventnor) which also goes through a few of the smaller villages is never close to quarter full. Using a smaller bus rather than a double decker would help to reduce costs. I agree about the Number 9 as well, every 10 minutes, every 20 would literally cut the cost in half, or again, during less busy times use smaller vehicles. Oh, and bring back return tickets!

Ian Johnson
Ian Johnson
Reply to  Dave
10 days ago

I have never understood why Southern Vectis insist on using nearly all double decker vehicles running around pretty empty , when more fuel efficient single deckers would make much more sense all round ??

Stephen R Whalin
Stephen R Whalin
10 days ago

Who comes first! Vectis Buses should get in the queue, (no pun intended)the council are quick to take out the last 2 months council tax on “my direct debit”
But cannot Rebate my £150 entitlement,
even though they paid out to people who are not entitled to a Rebate.

Old school.
Old school.
10 days ago

Why are we the taxpayer bailing out a private company?
Same as the banks in 08, and so on.

gorob
gorob
10 days ago

The buses never have many people on them.
Its cheaper to go by car.
Do they need to run double decker buses so much.
I remember when a small mini type bus ran around the estates in Newport surly it would benefit everyone if they stop using double deckers in inapropriate routes.
Makes sense to me.

fred
fred
10 days ago

More public money siphoned into the pockets of the UK’s oligarchs.

Chris Tana
Chris Tana
10 days ago

So the council can find 4.6 million out of nowhere to fund a bus company that charges the earth for fares , probably the dearest in the country , a friend said he was charged £8 one way on a festival bus to binstead, yet they claim poverty for other businesses that have needed help. So they think its a solution, give it a few years and it’ll be back to square one , a round peg in a square hole .

Freddie
Freddie
10 days ago

Simply put the bus fares are too high and less passengers travel ,reduce the fare and potentially increase the amount of travellers! takes the same time and money for a 60 seater double-decker with 10 people on board as it does to take 60 so if you half the fare you could get 6 times the amount of passengers and triple income.

Pineapple
Pineapple
8 days ago

With the prices they charge?

 

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