I’m deeply disappointed that LCC have plans to slash the public transport budget. Although we don’t have the exact details yet, Anita Ruffle, LCC’s transport manager, revealed that some services could be cut as much as 30%.
Lincolnshire is already extremely poorly served by public transport, and for the 16.2% of households in Louth and Horncastle without a car or van (data from the 2011 census) this is going to be a huge blow.
It also negatively affects guest houses and tourist attractions already, because a lot of people won’t book holidays in this area if they know they won’t be able to get around. It affects jobs, and already people who want to get to Grimsby on a Sunday to work are out of luck unless they have their own transport. This erodes the quality of life of a significant minority of people in this county.
It beggars belief that transport is facing cuts when usage has fallen in Lincolnshire in spite of rising nationally. Only 3.4% of the working population travelled on public transport in 2011, versus 4.1% in 2001. It’s not surprising: transport in this county has suffered from significant under-investment for a long time, and the situation has become worse over the years.
You can’t kickstart an economy by dismantling the infrastructure that makes work possible. It’s a false economy, akin to “saving money” by wrecking the school system or the libraries. This dismantling is precisely why austerity has failed to deliver material benefits to any but the lucky few millionaires. It’s a flawed ideology.