Village of Dunsford, Devon


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Dunsford Parish Plan

July 2018 update regarding progress of the Connectivity Working Group:

The Connectivity working group has turned its attention to another of its objectives - the  359 bus service. The residents feedback was that the bus service is much appreciated by those who use it and  it would be a huge loss if were discontinued. The sub-group wants to ensure there is no risk we may lose it so want to publicise it more widely – we need to “love it” or we may lose it. We have met the official at Devon County Council so we can understand more about how the subsidies to bus services work and what  the residents and users of the bus could be doing to ensure the message come through loud and clear that it is a valued and a crucial service for the residents of Dunsford. John Richardson-Dawes is the Principal Transport Co-ordinating Officer at Devon County Council and has kindly provided the brief summary below to help with our wider understanding

About eighty per cent of bus services run ‘commercially.’ This means bus companies providing services according to what’s financially viable. There is no formal local authority control over these services and no public subsidy, apart from a small grant from government in Westminster which originally refunded the duty on fuel.

Not surprisingly, most ‘commercial’ bus services are in towns and cities and on main roads between large towns. In rural areas bus services are rarely profitable. Legislation recognizes this by allowing county councils to buy in services which would otherwise not be provided. They do this by going out to tender for services they want to see provided. Contracts are then let to whichever bus company offers the best value arrangement for running the service in question.

This is how your local bus - the 359 - comes about. Since no bus company is willing or able to keep this going ‘commercially,’ Devon County Council, having gone out to tender, has a contract with Country Bus. The contract lasts for eight years - the maximum allowable - and was last tendered in April 2011. This means a new contract will soon be tendered for to take effect from May 2019. The County Council sets the timetable, route and fares, not the bus company.

For a rural county, Devon has a good bus network. In spite of budget cuts caused by reductions in government funding to local authorities, Devon has remained committed to keeping services like the 359 because it is recognized that they are vital to the life of our communities. The 359 accounts for about 41,500 passenger trips a year (a passenger trip is a one-way journey, these being recorded every time someone boards the bus). This figure is very important because Devon evaluates its subsidy commitment in terms of how much a services costs for every passenger trip. The lower the subsidy per passenger trip, the better the chances of the service being unaffected by any pressures on expenditure.

The 359 consists of one vehicle and driver running back and forth, fitting in as many journeys as possible - allowing for some recovery time and the driver’s breaks. It briefly needs a second vehicle and driver to run the last bus (at 1815) from Exeter. It’s therefore a cost-effective operation and there are no plans right now to cut it! However, new customers are always welcomed.

Country Bus have just upgraded their ticket machines, which enables them to be part of the County Council’s real time information system. This system tracks buses and supplies predicted actual times of arrival, aimed at being useful when there are traffic delays. The information can either be seen on a limited number of displays in the street, or on-line http://www.devonrti.com/ or look for the Devon Bus Tracker app in the App Store. It’s hoped that contactless payment will be available at some time in the future. As for the bus itself, Devon achieved almost 100% coverage of low-floor accessible buses long before the law required it. These modern buses are far easier to board for people with disabilities, parents with buggies or passengers with heavy shopping or luggage.

Unfortunately, even with subsidy, many rural routes can’t sustain services in the evening and on Sundays because there aren’t enough passengers at these times. Bus the 359 offers a choice of travel times on six days a week. The timetable appears in the County Council’s Teignbridge Area Timetable Book, in the on-line e-book - http://www.devonbustimetables.info/teignbridge_new/files/assets/basic-html/index.html#Cover

or see the journey planner on Traveline - http://www.travelinesw.com/                                                                                                                                                              

The sub-group are meeting with the management of Countrybus and will be talking to them about how to give the fares greater publicity, what we can do in terms of surveys of bus users and non-users to help understand residents’ views.  So look out for notices in a future Parish magazine and in the Post Office.

Suzanne Cosgrave, Hannah Phipps and Martin Sharland

 

To download a copy of the Dunsford Parish Plan 2017 please follow the link below:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B__WrTEsmUpFVElEYmF2UFEwbUE

Photo of Dunsford Village

Background: The last Dunsford parish plan was produced in 2008.  The Parish Council were keen that the views and wishes of the parish were accurately represented in an updated Parish Plan.  In 2016 a Parish Plan Steering Group was established with two Parish Councillors plus four local residents.  They conducted an “Open Day” to launch the process and start the data collection in July 2016; subsequently a survey was sent out to all households in the parish, local businesses and school parents.  The team reviewed the feedback received and produced the draft Parish Plan, which was circulated with the August parish magazine and handed out to local residents at the Village Fete in July. The feedback received from this last phase has been incorporated into the final Parish Plan, which will drive our Action Plan.  The plan now moves from draft to delivery.

The Parish Council are keen for interested members of the community to take an active part in putting the plan into action.  If you would like to be involved in any parts of the plan’s implementation then please write an email detailing your area of interest and how you think you could support the work and send it to dunsfordvillage@gmail.com. 

Scoring system:

S* = Strength of Support from community: High, Medium or Low

P* = Priority:

1 = start immediately, 2 = start within 8 months, 3 = may take longer to resolve and require external help, 4 = not requiring action at present, review in 12 months


Housing and infrastructure

Our community is rural, unspoilt and generally has good infrastructure; residents want to keep it that way.  Limited, affordable housing is required, which should be spread out.  Parking, speeding, particularly on the B3212, and road/ditch maintenance are issues.

S*

P*

Issue/opportunity

              Plan of action

M

1

Housing development / type /

location

Discuss and develop ideas with Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA)/ landowners / developer

H

2

Lack of car parking in the village

Plan A is to incorporate with housing plan and, if impossible, develop plan B

H

1

Road maintenance/pothole issues

Encourage on-line reporting; Government supported iPhone & android app: Fill That Hole

M

2

Traffic speed, particularly on B3212 and Briton Street

Create a focus group to meet with DNPA & Devon County Council (DCC) - Highways

H

1

Community bulk purchase of oil*

Signpost people to the current syndicate run by Tony Clapham.

H

3

Poor flood prevention/ditch maintenance

Seek support from landowners & DCC to clear their ditches

* Several bulk order ideas were discussed but dismissed due to possible impact on local traders.

 

Community Services and Connectivity

A multi-provider mast has recently been established after a long period of campaigning.  However, Highspeed Broadband does not reach all areas in the Parish and causes significant frustration.  The current 359 bus service is much valued but access to the doctors and hospital by public transport is extremely difficult.  For a small rural village Dunsford has excellent, well regarded and well supported facilities/services.  E.g. garage, shop/post office, pub, church, café/restaurant, village hall plus a Community Primary School.  The lack of a Doctor's surgery causes some concern.  Crime is low.

S*

P*

Issue/opportunity

              Plan of action

H

1

Mobile phone reception

A multi-service provider mast has gone on line, after years of campaigning. The reliability and quality will be monitored.

H

1

Broadband speed

via District Councillor Amanda Ford

H

2

Current bus service

Use it & praise it or we might lose it

M

1

Transport to GP surgery

Signpost Acorn & create list of willing parish drivers

L

4

Village hall -replacement?

Needs land so extremely unlikely; refurbishment instead

M

1

Access to GP services

Signpost to Acorn for transport

L

4

Youth club

Would it be supported? Could it be staffed? Unlikely

 

 Recreation & Environment

The local environment is much valued by residents.  The village has a multi-age group outdoor activity area undergoing refurbishment and many footpaths but no direct pedestrian access to the nearby Devon Wildlife Trust nature reserve. There are some in-parish clubs and many more available locally, especially at the Teign Valley Community Hall.

S*

P*

Issue/opportunity

              Plan of action

M

2

Footpath to Steps Reserve from Village

Plan A - Revisit with landowners; Plan B - develop a bridge solution to compliment the stepping stones

M

3

Extend path along B3212 to Meadhay corner

Seek alternative funding as Teignbridge District Council unlikely to do it

M

1

Dog poo issues in both village and at Steps

Bin at Steps Bridge car park now installed. Village requires vigilance and reminders

M

1

Visibility of the village green development plan

Karen Morris is planning an “open day” to update everyone

M

2

Club directory/contact list

Create a list of where they meet, contact details, put on village web page, in shop, pub & noticeboards

L

2

Local power generation

via Greener Teign?

M

2

Produce market

Needs a Champion

M

1

Clothes recycling

Signpost to school who already do it

M

2

Litter collection days

via SMATTER project

L

2

Need more non-fund raising, fun activities

Set up an entertainment group