DENGIE HUNDRED BUS USERS’ GROUP
The Dengie Hundred Bus Users’ Group was set up in May 2010 to campaign for continued and improved bus services and facilities in the Dengie Hundred area as part of an overall public transport system to:
* provide accessibility to services
* highlight and actively seek to resolve bus users’ concerns
* work in partnership with representatives from other bodies to achieve the aims of the Group
(The Dengie Hundred is roughly the whole of the area east of Maldon and South Woodham Ferrers in Essex, reaching out into the Dengie Peninsula. To the north is the River Blackwater, to the south the River Crouch, and to the east is the North Sea and Holland!)
The committee includes representatives from the Dengie Hundred Group of Parish Councils, the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, the Chairman of the Maldon District 50+ Forum and villagers from throughout the Dengie. It is important to note that the committee includes people who do not drive and are frequent bus users.
Issues to be addressed include
* access to healthcare (GP surgeries, clinics and hospitals)
* evening and Sunday bus services
* the funding of concessionary bus passes
* transport problems for young people
* poor information
* inability to communicate with large bodies
* access to rail services
Better public transport would lead to lower car usage and less congestion, and consequently to greener travel and a decrease in the carbon footprint.
The Group has become affiliated to Bus Users UK, an independent organisation which was formed to give bus passengers a voice and has the ear of all the major bus companies and a lot of the smaller ones too, of their trade organisation and of the Government and local authorities.
The Group has been busy campaigning for better bus services. Amongst other things, it has:
* successfully lobbied Essex County Council (ECC) on maintaining the 9.00 am start for the concessionary bus pass
* attended the ECC Parish Passenger Transport Representatives meetings
* had discussions with local MP concerning possible Government funding for our rural bus services
* contacted MEPs with a view to accessing EU funds for our local bus services
* submitted regular performance reports to First Bus re the service they offer locally
* met with taxi firms and bus operators to review ideas and possible solutions
* submitted written evidence to the parliamentary Transport Select Committee’s Inquiry into Bus Services after the Spending Review
* liaised with local Secondary School to find out what young people need from their bus services and how best they can become involved in our activities.
So far meetings have been held in Burnham between 1.00 – 2.45 pm to allow bus users to arrive and go home by bus. Tea and biscuits are available and there is plenty of opportunity for discussion with other members and visitors. Keynote speakers range from local bus managers to industry figures of national importance.
Membership is priced very modestly and is open to all persons who live or work in the Dengie Hundred and support the aims of the Group.
It is possible for Dengie Hundred bus users to report problems (or pay compliments) on their bus service via a portal on the website www.dhbug.org.uk
The Dengie Hundred Bus Users’ Group is particularly indebted to Burnham Town Council for their continuing support.