Contracted Bus Services - Taunton P&R - Fares, Publicity and Policy

The request was successful.

Dear Somerset County Council,

I write to request a response to the following questions under the Freedom of Information Act:

1. With regard to the contract to operate the Taunton Park & Ride bus service, and particularly it's recent award to First Group, trading under it's Buses of Somerset brand:

a. Were any specific exclusions around ticket types or concessionary fares specified in the contract with First Group. If so, where are these publicly available?

b. Were any specific conditions included around the national PlusBus scheme for combined Rail and Bus travel? If so, where are these publicly available?

c.Does the operator retain all farebox revenue from the service?

d. Is there a process for reviewing the ticketing arrangements should new local, regional or national products become available, or should schemes change?

2. Is it the policy of Somerset County Council to encourage modal shift from cars to public transport? How is this reflected in contracts to provide bus services?

3. Is it the policy of Somerset County Council to promote integrated transport? How is this reflected in contracts to provide bus services?

4. is it the policy of Somerset County Council to provide clear, unambiguous information on transport services, fares and timetables? How is this reflected in contracts to provide bus services?

Yours faithfully,

Mike Newman

Information Request,

Internal Reference: 141159

Date request received: 29/10/2014

Date response due: 26/11/2014

 

Dear Mr Newman,

 

Thank you for your request for information of which we are dealing with
under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  We are currently dealing with
your request and will be in touch shortly concerning disclosure of the
information you have requested.

 

Whilst we will endeavour to send our response to you by 26^th November
2014, we are currently experiencing a high level of requests and we may
not be able to meet the statutory deadline of 20 working days from the
receipt of your request.  Please bear with us at this moment in time.

 

In the meantime if you have any further queries please contact me quoting
the reference numbers above.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Information Request Administrator

Communications Team

Tel: 01823 355584,

Email: [1][Somerset County Council request email] 

Somerset County Council, Post Point: PP B3E 2, County Hall, Taunton, TA1
4DY

URL: [2]www.somerset.gov.uk

 

FOI Disclosure Log URL: [3]http://www.somerset.gov.uk/disclosurelog

 

 

 

This email, and any attachments is intended solely for the individual to whom
it is addressed. It may contain personal and / or sensitive material and should
be handled according to the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998. If this
email carries a protective marking of PROTECT or RESTRICTED in the
header it should be handled according to HMG guidelines, if not protectively
marked it can be regarded as UNCLASSIFIED.

If this Email has been misdirected, please notify the author immediately. If you
are not the intended recipient you must not disclose, distribute, copy, print or
rely on any of the information contained in it or attached, and all copies must
be deleted immediately.

Whilst we take reasonable steps to try to identify any software viruses, any
attachments to this email may nevertheless contain viruses which our anti
-virus software has failed to identify. You should therefore carry out your own
anti-virus checks before opening any documents. Somerset County Council
will not accept any liability for damage caused by computer viruses
emanating from any attachment or other document supplied with this email.

All GCSx traffic may be subject to recording and / or monitoring in accordance
with relevant legislation.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Somerset County Council request email]
2. file:///tmp/www.somerset.gov.uk
3. http://www.somerset.gov.uk/disclosurelog

Dear Somerset County Council,

Internal Reference: 141159

I note that my request detailed above is due for a response by today. Can you please clarify whether this will be forthcoming, and if not why there is a delay to receiving this information?

Yours faithfully,

Mike Newman

Mike Newman left an annotation ()

No response forthcoming from the Council by the deadline date. No response to my follow up mail.

Information Request,

Internal Reference: 141159
Date request received: 29/10/2014
Date response due: 26/11/2014
Date of response: Overdue

Dear Mr Newman,

I am writing to you with an update on the progress of your Freedom of Information request which is being dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We are still dealing with your request and I note that we are now overdue with our response.

In an organisation as large and diverse as a County Council, we often have to seek information from a wide range of sources when responding to requests under the Freedom of Information Act and occasionally the amount of work involved with the request is greater than we anticipate at first.

As a result, I am not able to provide you with the information you are seeking within the 20 working day timescale that is stated in the Act. I am hoping to get this information to you as soon as possible. I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any concerns or would like to discuss the content and progress of your Freedom of Information request with me.

Yours Sincerely,
 
Victoria Baxter
Information Request Team
email: [Somerset County Council request email]
Telephone: +44(1823)3-59560
Somerset County Council, Post Point: PP B3E 2, County Hall, Taunton, TA1 4DY
URL: www.somerset.gov.uk

FOI Disclosure Log URL: http://www.somerset.gov.uk/disclosurelog

show quoted sections

Victoria Baxter,

Internal Reference: 141159

Date request received: 29/10/2014

Date response due: 26/11/2014

Date of actual response: 03/12/2014

 

Dear Mr Newman,

 

I am very sorry for the delay in returning our response to you.

 

I am writing in respect of your recent request for information from
Somerset County Council which has been dealt with under the provisions of
the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

 

I confirm that we do hold the information you are seeking and we are able
to provide it to you. Our response is detailed underneath your questions
as follows.

 

With regard to the contract to operate the Taunton Park & Ride bus
service, and particularly its recent award to First Group, trading under
its Buses of Somerset brand:

 

1a.) Were any specific exclusions around ticket types or concessionary
fares specified in the contract with First Group. If so, where are these
publicly available?

 

No.

 

1b.) Were any specific conditions included around the national PlusBus
scheme for combined Rail and Bus travel? If so, where are these publicly
available?

 

No.

 

1c.) Does the operator retain all farebox revenue from the service?

 

No, the revenue comes to the Local Authority.

 

1d.) Is there a process for reviewing the ticketing arrangements should
new local, regional or national products become available, or should
schemes change?

 

Yes

 

2. Is it the policy of Somerset County Council to encourage modal shift
from cars to public transport? How is this reflected in contracts to
provide bus services?

 

Yes. We provide bus service contracts to address both social isolation for
people without access to their own transport, and to encourage the use of
local bus services. The Park & Ride is a very good example of this, in
that we encourage model shift by ensuring that the fares are very
competitive with parking charges in Taunton Town Centre.

 

3. Is it the policy of Somerset County Council to promote integrated
transport? How is this reflected in contracts to provide bus services?

We do encourage integrated transport through our contracts. A number of
our contracts are deliberately routed into or close to railway stations,
and whilst they are not specifically timed for trains, because by the very
rural nature of the County frequencies are low, and timetables are often
constructed around School / College start and finish times. We support and
provide data to Traveline in the South West which provides journey
planning information across different modes of transport.

 

4. is it the policy of Somerset County Council to provide clear,
unambiguous information on transport services, fares and timetables? How
is this reflected in contracts to provide bus services?

 

Our policy is to provide accurate up to date information on bus services
through providing weekly uploads onto Traveline. For those who do not have
access to the internet we provide a call centre service, Somerset Direct,
where we can advise intending passengers of bus services and times, and if
requested send them hard copies of individual timetables from the
Traveline database. On roadside timetable information we work closely with
local bus operators to provide this information.      

 

If you feel your request has not been answered in sufficient detail or if
you wish to clarify the information given please contact me and I will be
happy to address the issues you raise.

 

If you are not satisfied with the way in which your request has been dealt
with, or the information you have received you can ask for an internal
review of our decision.   Internal review requests should be submitted
within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original
letter and should be addressed to:

 

Peter Grogan

Corporate Information Governance Manager,

County Hall

Taunton

TA1 4DY

Or email  [1][email address] .

 

If you are still not satisfied, you can complain to the Information
Commissioner, by completing the following form and issuing this to the
ICO. [2]ICO complaint form

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF       Tel: 0303 – 123 1113

 

Finally, please be aware that your response will appear, without your
contact details, on the Council’s website at: 
[3]http://www.somerset.gov.uk/disclosurelog

 

 

 

 

Yours Sincerely,

 

Victoria Baxter

Information Request Team

email: [4][Somerset County Council request email]

Telephone: +44(1823)3-59560

Somerset County Council, Post Point: PP B3E 2, County Hall, Taunton, TA1
4DY

URL: [5]www.somerset.gov.uk

 

FOI Disclosure Log URL: [6]http://www.somerset.gov.uk/disclosurelog

 

 

This email, and any attachments is intended solely for the individual to whom
it is addressed. It may contain personal and / or sensitive material and should
be handled according to the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998. If this
email carries a protective marking of PROTECT or RESTRICTED in the
header it should be handled according to HMG guidelines, if not protectively
marked it can be regarded as UNCLASSIFIED.

If this Email has been misdirected, please notify the author immediately. If you
are not the intended recipient you must not disclose, distribute, copy, print or
rely on any of the information contained in it or attached, and all copies must
be deleted immediately.

Whilst we take reasonable steps to try to identify any software viruses, any
attachments to this email may nevertheless contain viruses which our anti
-virus software has failed to identify. You should therefore carry out your own
anti-virus checks before opening any documents. Somerset County Council
will not accept any liability for damage caused by computer viruses
emanating from any attachment or other document supplied with this email.

All GCSx traffic may be subject to recording and / or monitoring in accordance
with relevant legislation.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. file:///FS2-CEO-Cust_Access/Freedom%20of%20Information/FS2-CEO-Cust_Access/Freedom%20of%20Information/-%20http:/ico.org.uk/concerns/getting/~/media/documents/forms/concerns/access-official-information-form-word.docxv
3. blocked::http://www.somerset.gov.uk/disclosurelog
http://www.somerset.gov.uk/disclosurelog
4. mailto:[Somerset County Council request email]
5. blocked::www.somerset.gov.uk
file:///09%20-%2014%20Sep%20requests%20140919%20-/140931%20-%20Sinclair%20-%20%20Reclassified%20roads%20in%20our%20county/www.somerset.gov.uk
6. blocked::http://www.somerset.gov.uk/disclosurelog
http://www.somerset.gov.uk/disclosurelog

Susan Reekie left an annotation ()

Dear Mike
I have recently been informed by SCC that the P&R service is a "Flat Fare" and does not accept concessionary passes and would therefore be impossible to integrate with other bus services.

This seems to contradict info provided to you.

I would be interested to hear from you.

Sue Reekie

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site AskTheEU.org . Find out more .

AskTheEU.org