Milton Keynes bus service claims are 'utter rubbish'

A TRANSPORT boss has dismissed the former city bus chief's attack on planning of bus services as "utter rubbish".

Ex-Metro managing director Julian Peddle said he had nine years to "suffer" inter-agency working in Milton Keynes so he was qualified to say why it would not work here He wrote in trade paper 'Buses' that "the rot really set in" when John Prescott designated Milton Keynes as a growth area and set up Milton Keynes Partnership Committee.

"Thereafter we had three sets of authorities – the ODPM's office (Office of Deputy Prime Minister), which had the money; the development partnership, which was the planner but had no clue about bus services and even less of a clue about Milton Keynes; and the poor council that was ignored, along with the bus company, about most things."

The so-called "fuzzy cross" lay-out for cross-city bus routes had "no

interest in where people really travelled" and was "a smokescreen" to fund road junction improvements out of the bus budget.

Council Highways and Transport boss Kevin Whiteside said of the claim of failed partnership planning: "It is utter rubbish.

"We are working well at officer level. We are working effectively in partnership with MKP, EP and the Government office.

"That is not to say there are never tensions.

"But if you look at the big picture it works well."

The expansion programme and partnership working had generated millions of pounds for investment in transport in the city, including up to 12 million for the new east-west bus route.

Bus usage in Milton Keynes had increased by 30 per cent over the past three years.

It was "absolutely not true" that bus cash was being diverted to road

improvements or that buses were being planned where they were not needed.

Mr Whiteside said north-south Wolverton-Bletchley services were well-subscribed and the east-west link – connecting expansion areas on the flanks – would be a "major bus route".

The "fuzzy cross" was a "robust" approach to providing city bus services.