1. Tisbury Railway Station would be an ideal hub for the community area, but is lacking in any co-ordinated integration with a bus service. This is considered to be a threat to the economic viability of Tisbury’s High Street that relies on visitors. Facilities, including tourist information and toilets, should be available at the railway station at all times during the timetabled service.
2. Targeted bus services using smaller vehicles to provide a flexible, peak-time demand led service would be of great benefit. Tisbury and the surrounding villages make great use of TISBUS and the Link Scheme, but these are run by volunteers (with a few paid drivers) and currently operate at capacity; Wiltshire Council should consider subsidising such existing services rather than creating new additional services.
Note – the estimated cost of providing an extra TISBUS per annum is put at £40,000.
3. Due to the lack of bus services, the elderly are particularly dis-advantaged as bus passes are not useable; a form of train ticket subsidy (that would allow access to Salisbury and Gillingham) would be more beneficial and should be actively considered by Wiltshire Council as an alternative to a bus pass for those that wish to make better use of the local train network.
4. Shaftesbury, being the largest near town, cannot be reached for return journeys in any time period of less than a day.
The above is just one example of a specific bus timetabling issue, but there are further examples, such as:
· Children from Tisbury attending Shaftesbury School are severely disadvantaged in terms of after school activities and rely heavily on parents for transport due to the lack of bus services at appropriate times, with the consequent increase in car journeys.
· Better co-ordinated bus/train services should be considered, a prime example being that no bus runs directly between Salisbury Railway Station and Salisbury District Hospital; a walk is required – not ideal for those that are not well. It should be noted that a high percentage of the journeys undertaken by TISBUS and the Link Scheme are related to trips to the hospital. A short detour by the Bemerton Heath bus service would be most welcome!
· Tisbury and area residents cannot travel on the last train from Waterloo unless arrangements have been made for a taxi, pick up by family/friend, parked car at Salisbury, as this train doesn’t stop at Tisbury and there is no bus service at that time.
5. The road infrastructure is not considered adequate in terms of suitability for the large buses that transport School children, or maintenance, that does affect the safe travel of 2 wheeled transport, whether powered or not.
6. The Wheels to Work Scheme does provide some mobility in the area, especially for younger working individuals, but is limited by distances between the villages in the area and the larger towns.
7. Co-ordination with the AONB Visitor Economy project should be encouraged by all transport groups.
8. Improving the broadband provision in the Tisbury community area would reduce overall demand on the current transport services where available – enabling some more effective home working, shopping etc.
9. Wiltshire Council should consider restoring the subsidy to the Air Ambulance service as this is an essential feature of rural life.
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