Friday, 23 December 2011

Fare isn't Fair

Cllr Tristan Osborne campaigning with Chatham residents at the bus station

As local Councillors we have been working with resident groups to oppse the £10m new open-plan bus facility and to campaign for more affordable and regular bus services.

We know from correspondence and conversations on the doorstep that buses in Medway do not represent value for money. This is confirmed by other transport organisations and from residents across the local authority.

As a result we spent Tuesday morning speaking to local people at Chatham’s new open-air bus station, to gauge views on bus and train fares increases and to support the campaign by Maria Eagle MP, to devolve more responsibilities for bus services to local authorities.

In addition to rising bus fares; residents will now have to pay over £5,000 for an annual season ticket to travel into London via HS1.

The average Medway train ticket into London Stations has risen by 6.0%

  • Monthly Season Ticket: £319.20 to £338.40

  • Annual Season Ticket (HS1): £4,760 to £5,030

  • Annual Season Ticket: £3,324 to £3,524

In addition, since the Tories took power we have seen bus usage in Medway fall from 9.3m journeys to 8.9m journeys in one year alone.

We know buses are vital, connecting people with town centres, jobs, colleges, shopping, family and friends, and when bus services are cut, people’s lives are badly affected

Indeed, the Tory-led government’s budget allocation for Medway transport was significantly cut by the government from £3.5m per year to £1.5m per year.

As a result Medway has seen

  • Single fares up by 10p or 20p. e.g. Single fare on the 181 from Street End Road to Weeds Wood will go from £2.20 to £2.40 (9% increase)

  • Inner Medway day ticket up from £4.00 to £4.20 (5%)

  • Inner Medway week ticket up from £16 to £17 (6%)

  • Inner Medway 4-week ticket up from £47 to £50 (6%)

  • Inner Medway annual ticket up from £470 to £500 (6%)

  • Medway day ticket up from £5.20 to £5.50 (6%)

  • Medway week ticket up from £21 to £22 (5%)

  • Medway 4-week ticket up from £68 to £72 (6%)

  • Medway annual ticket up from £670 to £720 (7%)

The popular ‘Happy Max’ deal and evening fares will no longer be available.

We will continue to stand up for our residents who use buses and trains. We believe that with this government fare isn't fair.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Fighting for Nelson Court

Click to enlarge

Your Labour Councillor's are fighting to protect Nelson Court from Council cuts.

The publicly owned care home on Nelson Road is a very popular and much needed resource for dozens of care users, residents and their families.

We are very concerned about reasons for the closure of Nelson Court. We believe they are because the current administratin has allowed a black hole in the budget to the tune of £7.9m.

Adult Care Services are therefore being targeted for Conservative cuts to make the books add up.

Meanwhile Tories continue to overspend on capital projects including the Stoke Crossing, Chatham bus station and the Chatham one-way fiasco.

Please fight to save Nelson Court.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Dispersal Zone for Luton

A dispersal zone has been introduced in an area of Medway following complaints from residents.

Medway Police have joined forces with Medway Council to disperse groups of troublemakers who have been behaving anti-socially in the Luton and Wayfield area.

The aim of the dispersal zone is to prevent and disrupt anti-social behaviour by identifying known troublemakers.

The order will run from Saturday, 10 December 2011 until Saturday, 10 March 2012 and will be managed by Inspector David Matson from the Medway Neighbourhood Team. Police officers, Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and Medway Council Enforcement Officers can disperse groups of two or more people and tell those who do not live in the area to leave and not return for up to 24 hours.

Anyone who refuses or breaches the notice can be arrested. It is punishable on conviction of a custodial sentence of up to three months and/or a fine of up to £2,500.

Commenting Cllr Tristan Osborne

"Labour Councillor's have been working with PACTs and local residents to get this dispersal zone in place

Only last week we saw a mugging on Luton Road and the Police responded in a swift manner to apprehend and pursue the culprit.

There is clear demand from local residents for this zone and we are pleased to have partnered with all parties to get this in place.

Luton Road residents deserve better and we will be working very closely to see anti-social behaviour opposed and done so with the full arsenal of the law"