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I was saddened to read Julian Peddle’s comments about local authority failings regarding local bus services (Inside Track, July). I could not help contrasting this with the situation at the time I joined a Council’s public transport team in the late 70s. Although only a small team, several of us had experience in bus service operation. We also spent considerable time working with local communities to discover what was wanted. Not surprisingly, we found significant differences between the requirements in different parts of the area.
I would contrast that with the approach of the two NBC subsidiaries, which operated most of the network. One in particular paid little attention to the needs in our rural area, concentrating on urban areas in other parts of its territory. An example of the consequence of this, concerned a route which linked two relatively small market towns, which catered for the needs of about eight small communities. As passenger numbers declined, the company withdrew journeys not carrying many passengers, resulting in other journeys losing patronage because passengers could either not get into town or back anymore. No attempt was made to discover what prospective passengers wanted.