After five years of modest subsidy from the Lincolnshire County Council the contract for the Into Town Bus service comes to an end in June and, unless profitable, the service will cease.
Like many issues this one too has nothing to do with Boston borough, being a Lincolnshire County Council and Brylaine buses matter.
However on Tuesday, February 19, at Boston Borough we had a briefing on the subject. The thorny issue of buses going through Narrow Bargate was raised by members.
The popular view remains that the buses must stop this at all costs and councillors became quite emotional on the subject as a result, it is said, of pressure from ward residents irritated by the practice.
I can understand the councillors’ passion and the public’s irritation; I live in Boston too. However we must consider some facts.
The Inter Town bus service is used by amongst others, the elderly and disabled making in excess of 26,000 journeys a month.
If it were to cease because a change in route were forced upon the operator so as to avoid Narrow Bargate, thus making the service unprofitable, these would be the people most affected.
As of course would be the five bus drivers who would be unemployed
and who would have been employed by a private company at no cost to the council tax payer.
If we think about it more thoroughly is this really what we want, a lack of transport for disabled and elderly people, unemployment for local workers, all because we pressurise our councillors into demanding an end to buses through Narrow Bargate because we find it, at worst, a bit irritating?
I am relieved that with an open mind both Lincolnshire County Council and Brylaine, the bus operator, are looking at alternative routes and like many I support an alternative.
However if none are profitable would we really support the end of this valuable service?