Here is the latest news from the 747 meeting that I attended earlier this evening. Could you put an item on the Belton News to let everyone know.
With current passenger numbers, Centrebus cannot run the 747 as a commercial concern without subsidies from the two County Councils. In order to run the service in 2018 they require a subsidy of £50,000, which is £10,000 less than the subsidy they required for 2017. This reduction is because of the small increase in passenger useage and the reduction in service to 2 hourly during non peak times.
The good news is that the two County Councils are committed to keeping the service running and have agreed to continue paying subsidies. They will be in negotiation with Centrebus over the next few weeks to agree the amount. Whatever the outcome of these negotiations, it is to be announced to the media tomorrow that the 747 will continue for at least another year.
Centrebus will be announcing a fare increase in the new year.
It was agreed that the 747 community meeting will continue in 2018 and meet quarterly. Each Parish along the 747 route will be represented at this meeting. This group will continue to promote the 747 and monitor the information on viability produced by Centrebus. It was stressed at the meeting tonight that if the 747 is to continue beyond 2018, passenger numbers need to continue rising and each Parish is asked to promote the 747 and encourage as many people to use it as possible.