All change please

Aah, it’s so nice to see that the MP for North Swindon is once again not letting reality get in the way of a quick party-political jibe.

Most of the proposed changes will leave areas of Swindon with reduced bus services despite the fact that Thamesdown Transport appear to be profitable enough to pay Swindon Borough council £250,000 a year in dividends. If the Council gave back this bonus, Thamesdown Transport might be able to keep some of the services they are planning to cut. Many constituents have already expressed their dismay about these proposals to me and I have now written to other residents affected by these changes to ask for their views. I hope that both Thamesdown Transport and Swindon Borough Council will re-think these proposals.

Hmm. The problem with that argument is that, as the council is both owner of Thamesdown Transport and provider of subsidies for unprofitable bus services, it’s all just a money-go-round. As pointed out by the bus company’s managing director, some of the services to be reduced are operated for Swindon Borough Council, not as commercial services (though some others are not). And in the bus company’s own words

Where there are growing numbers using the buses, such as in North Swindon, we propose to improve services. In other areas, where not enough use is being made of them, they would be reduced.

That’s north Swindon where the services will be improved, Mr Wills’ own constituency… just not the parts of it with a track-record of voting for his red-nest comrades.