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Talks raise hopes of more bus services to serve town

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: June 29, 2012

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A LAUNCESTON councillor says he is hopeful of improved bus services in the town following a meeting with county transport bosses.

Councillor Alex Folkes, Cornwall councillor for Launceston Central, said he wanted to see buses serve Kensey Valley Meadow and Oak Moor View in future.

He has asked Cornwall Council to look at the feasibility of introducing a second bus in Launceston to operate during the day.

"The current paucity of services means that many local residents end up having to use their cars for short journeys in and around the town," he said.

"Cornwall Council adopted a transport plan last year which promised a wider variety of community and local bus services. The catch is that this is a 20-year plan and there is no indication when these services might be created within that timescale.

"The current town bus service is a good one, but is limited in the parts of the town it can reach while still maintaining an hourly service. Developments such as Kensey Valley Meadow and Oak Moor View are not served and areas like Hay Common will also be missed when houses are built there."

"I have, therefore, asked officers to look at the feasibility of introducing a second town bus in Launceston to operate during the daytime."

Mr Folkes said it might be possible to combine this with some school services in order to provide the best value for money.

However, he said any new service is still a long way off and may have to wait until the next retendering of supported bus services.

"But I am hopeful that we can build on the current levels of service such that no one will feel the need to use their car to make short journeys in the future," he added.

He has also asked council officers to contact Western Greyhound to ask if some or all of the services between Launceston and Exeter could travel via the old A30 with stops at Kensey Hill and Lifton.

He said: "At present, the service leaves Launceston and uses the A30 direct to Okehampton. More stops in town could enable more local residents to use it."

In response, Cornwall Council said: "Officers from the council's Passenger Transport Unit met with Councillor Folkes to discuss the possibility of improvements to the Launceston town bus service to incorporate the Kensey Valley Estate and proposed supermarket.

"We will look into the feasibility of the proposal. However any service will depend on the support of the commercial sector.

"Despite a cut in government funding, Cornwall Council earlier this year reaffirmed its commitment to bus services by safeguarding some 90 support bus routes throughout the county."

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