The Humble Petition of residents of Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire and surrounding areas,
Sheweth, that there is a considerable and ongoing need for the Higham Hopper bus service; that this is a vital mode of transport for the elderly and people with mobility problems; and that it is of the greatest importance that this bus service continues to provide transport for residents in Higham Ferrers and the surrounding areas.
Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House urges the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to request that Northamptonshire county council, in conjunction with East Northamptonshire District Council and Higham Ferrers parish council, explores ways in which the Higham Hopper bus service can continue to operate.
And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.—[Presented by Mr Peter Bone, Official Report, 8 March 2011; Vol. 524, c. 877.]
Observations from the Secretary of State for Transport, received 11 April 2011:
The Government do not determine local bus services, 78% of which are provided by commercial bus operators in a market environment. Others are provided by community transport operators or procured by Local Transport Authorities as “tendered services”.
The Government recognise that community transport provides invaluable services to those who are unable to access conventional public transport for whatever reason. With this in mind, the Government recently announced additional funding of £10 million to rural local authorities in England to support and kick-start community transport in their areas. Northamptonshire will receive £209,995.
The Government encourage Local Transport Authorities and local transport providers to work together to ensure that services meet the needs of the travelling public.