SCC: Take accountability for supporting local bus services

SCC: Take accountability for supporting local bus services

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Petition to
Transport & Connectivity (Staffordshire County Council)

Why this petition matters

Started by Lee Murphy

The South Staffordshire bus network around Cannock and Stafford areas predominantly run from the Cannock bus depot, which has been owned by D&G (under the Chaserider brand) since 2021, following a takeover from Arriva Midlands. Select Bus, National Express West Midlands and Midland Classic also operate in South Staffs.

Since the takeover, the Great Wyrley & Cheslyn Hay community group have formed a good relationship to help shape bus services in our village by voicing local needs and ideas, some of which have been trialled. For example, route 1 (Cannock - Walsall) has been reinstated. D&G have also tried new ideas such as the X14 (Cannock - Telford).

The community group also have also worked with the connectivity and infrastructure team at Staffordshire County Council to have improvements made in the village, including new RTPI displays which became available with stock rotation, and replacing missing bus stop flags.

It is believed that the Cannock depot has been loss making up to £1m per annum over the past two years (though we don't have a concrete source for this). The buses left behind at Cannock as part of the takeover are in a poor state and many have been scrapped and replaced from elsewhere in the company.

The bus network in South Staffordshire has significantly declined over the past few years, mostly as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Subsequently, most local bus routes have been cut back and some withdrawn. For example, route 827 withdrawn and evening journeys on services 74 and 828 have been axed.

There are still no Sunday services operating in the area (with the exception of X51 funded by McArthurGlen and 9 funded by the County Council). I'm sure readers recall our 2018 petition and campaign to save Sundays.

In 2020, the Prime Minister announced a package of £200million called 'Better Deal for Buses' dubbed 'Bus Back Better'. According to a freedom of information request, Staffordshire County Council was awarded £583,372 in June 2020. In a subsequent FOI request in March 2021, the community group were informed that the spending of the funds were being delayed due to the pandemic, which of course is reasonable.

However, we are now living in the 'new normal' and people have returned to work, education and leisure and the public are yet to see any spending (except route 9 on Sundays in Lichfield, though the specific fund source is not known).

Anonymous sources have told us that there are various funding sources also available from local housing developers, such as the Norton Meadows development which was used at the last second to save service 3. We believe other sources are also available elsewhere in South Staffordshire that could be used under similar agreements.


Staffordshire County Council need to be held to account for failing to spend the funds available to them on saving and restoring bus services that have been cut. Whilst it is not a long term solution, hopefully a full 7-day network with later journeys, combined with removal of Covid restrictions, will make bus travel more attractive again and increase profitability.

The community group wants to work with the county council on this matter and not against, but this is becoming difficult.

Mr L Murphy
Chairman, Great Wyrley & Cheslyn Hay Community Group

278 have signed. Let’s get to 500!