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Transport spending options to go to public consultation
Centro, the region's transport authority, held a special meeting today (Monday November 25) where members agreed there should be a public consultation over the budget reduction options.
The leaders of the seven West Midlands district councils - Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton - have asked Centro to consult on a range of options aimed at saving ten per cent from the transport authority's budget.
Centro has already saved nearly a third of its operational expenditure over the last four years without impacting on frontline services for passengers.
But with district councils facing financial constraints of their own, Centro has been tasked with consulting on the options and consequences of making a further £14 million of savings over the next two years.
Centro chairman Cllr John McNicholas said: "If the proposed cuts to our budget go through we are facing difficult choices.
"This is why it is vitally important that the public give us their views in the consultation about where they think savings should be made."
Options to be put to the public include:
- Children paying two thirds of the adult fare on buses instead of half
- Removing free local rail and tram travel for eligible people or introducing a nominal annual charge of around £30
- Reducing the grant to Ring and Ride
- Reducing the number of taxpayer funded bus services
- Removing the locally funded 'add on' which allows eligible people to travel free on buses after 11pm (free bus travel between 9:30am and 11pm would be unaffected)
Further options to fully achieve the proposed ten per cent reduction would include completely stopping Centro funding for Ring and Ride or for child bus fare concessions.
The eight week consultation will run from November 25 to January 19 and views can be made in the following ways:
- By emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- By writing to Budget Views, Centro House, 16 Summer Lane, Birmingham, B19 3SD
- By completing an online questionnaire at www.centro.org.uk/budgetconsultation
- Via Twitter: @networkwm #yoursay
There will also be a series of public exhibitions:
- Saturday November 30 - 9am-3pm, Broadgate, Coventry city centre
- Saturday December 7 - 9am-3pm, Stone Street Square, Dudley
- Saturday December 14 - 9am-3pm, High Street, Birmingham, adjacent to Marks and Spencer
- Wednesday December 18 - 9am-3pm, West Bromwich bus station, adjacent to Shopmobility
- Saturday January 4 - 9am-3pm, Mell Square, Solihull
- Saturday January 11 - 9am-3pm, Queens Square, Wolverhampton
- Saturday January 18 - 9am-3pm, Park Street, Walsall, adjacent to Poundland