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  • LED replacement programme continues Work on the second phase of LED streetlight replacement continues next week (w/b October 20th).
    During this phase Transport for Buckinghamshire expects to convert 2,585 traditional street lamps in 110 locations with more efficient LED lanterns before next March.
    Modern LED (light emitting diode) lamps not only save energy, create lower carbon emissions and reduce maintenance costs, but are also made of materials with less environmental impact.
    Last week TfB replaced 111 traditional lanterns with LEDs and next week the programme continues with visits to Oxford Road, Denham and the Linslade Western Bypass in Soulbury:
    • 20-21 October: Linslade Western Bypass, Soulbury - 10.00-14.00 - using temporary traffic lights
    • 20-24 October: Oxford Road, Denham - 09.30-15.30 - using temporary traffic lights.
    These timings are the window of work that our contractor is permitted to use, so traffic restrictions will fall sometime within this.
    The scheme is due for completion by Christmas. For further information, please visit www.buckscc.gov.uk/ledreplacement
  • Joined-up approach to public transport will beat 'bus is best' thinking A call for a new and flexible approach to Buckinghamshire County Council's support for public transport has come today (Tuesday) from its all-party Environment, Transport and Localities Select Committee.

    Members are urging the Council's Cabinet to support the setting up of an integrated transport unit to drive a joined-up approach to the annual £25 million investment in all transport services.

    It follows an in-depth study of Buckinghamshire's public transport during the past six months.

    And, say councillors, it's clear that a fresh joined-up, long-term strategic vision for public transport over the next 20 years will better serve residents' needs, rather than the current practice of basing support on demand for existing services in isolation.

    Councillors, who heard two days of evidence from the county's transport providers, say new policies should break the 'bus is best' thinking that currently drives the allocation of funding.

    Select Committee Chairman Warren Whyte said: 'The image of public transport is so heavily focused on buses that other options, such as taxis and community transport, are viewed merely as "alternative". This makes it difficult to shift the mindset towards a wider view.'

    They had heard evidence of young people in Buckinghamshire's rural communities sharing taxis to get to social events because they were more flexible and cheaper than buses.

    The Select Committee suggests there is a strong case for county council leadership in driving better community transport schemes - and more of them - to increase local on-demand services in areas commercial operators are unable to serve.

    And, it says, there is a missed opportunity to strengthen support for a taxi token scheme to more closely target the needs of disabled residents. The only scheme currently in Buckinghamshire is run by Aylesbury Vale District Council.

    The Select Committee heard evidence of a disconnect between different transport sectors, resulting in a failure to identify and exploit opportunities for links between community and commercial routes.

    Identifying these gaps has not been easy, councillors heard, because it has not been possible to map all 66 community transport schemes in the county to see where they touch mainstream services.

    With diminishing resources and tighter budgets, Mr Whyte said the Select Committee saw the best future in integrated transport services for Buckinghamshire that were overseen from a central point to get the best value for money and ensure all partners worked together effectively and more efficiently.

    'Public transport has worked in the past to meet people's needs,' he said. 'But people's employment, health and leisure needs are changing and we need to respond to this to help shape a joined-up and flexible approach that will meet our needs into the 2020s.'

    The Select Committee agreed today (Monday October 13) to present its inquiry report to the Cabinet on November 10.
  • Chief Executive and his senior team take a day out to volunteer at the Puzzle Centre Chris Williams, the County Council’s Chief Executive, and his senior management team colleagues, rolled up their sleeves to take part in a volunteering day on Friday (10 October), helping to refurbish the grounds of the Puzzle Centre in Middle Claydon.

    The team of Directors helped out with some much-needed grounds and garden work, painting fences, cutting back trees and improving the outdoor play area at the specialist education centre.
    The team were assisted by Ringway Jacobs and Guy Lachlan of Jones and Cocks Ltd, who supplied extra manpower, tools and materials for the refurbishment.

    Chris Williams said: “The day was hard work but it’s been great fun getting stuck in as a team with fence painting, gardening and gravel laying! It has also been very rewarding to be able to help the Puzzle Centre, who give a unique type of education and support to young children with autism and their families.”

    The Puzzle Centre charity promotes and delivers early intervention for very young children with autism and similar communication difficulties; and provides training and outreach to families and practitioners throughout the UK. The centre’s mission is to ensure that every pre-school-aged child with autism or similar communication needs is offered prompt, appropriate and high-quality education, therapy and support.

    Alex Stanyer, the centre's Principal, said: “We are delighted that Chris Williams and his team of Directors have taken the time to visit us, see the work we do and muck in! Volunteering is vital for charities and even more so when you are supporting your local charity.”

    Find out more about volunteering in Buckinghamshire at http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/community/helping-your-community/volunteering/

    Read more about the Puzzle Centre and its work at www.puzzlecentre.org.uk