Question to the Leader: 2021/28 - Free Bus Scheme
Councillor Routley asked:
Why was the decision (free bus travel Christmas 2021) taken so late?
As major shareholder, is there a need for you to declare an interest?
The Leader responded:
The decision was taken quickly to allow residents and business to benefit over the Christmas period. I would have thought that the councillor would support such measures, which have been widely welcomed and will help those who most need it over Christmas. Unfortunately, with covid restrictions constantly under review, this is something that could not have been agreed too far in advance.
I am not a shareholder of Newport Transport. The Council is the shareholder and I simply represent the Council at meetings with the company and exercise the shareholders corporate vote, on behalf of the Council, when required. Therefore, I have no personal interest to declare. However, I would point out that this decision to subsidise the costs of free bus transport during the Christmas period applies to all bus Companies operating public service routes in Newport, not just Newport Transport.
Also, the beneficiaries are the fare-paying public and our local businesses, not the bus operators themselves, as the Council is simply covering the cost of the fares that would otherwise be paid.