BUS services cost too much, take too long and don’t encourage motorists to switch to public transport, that’s the view of Tavistock town councillors who are getting on board with a survey by Devon County Council.

Town councillors are calling for ‘green’ buses in the town to help save the environment — and want a cheaper and more frequent service for local passengers.

Members of Tavistock Town Council’s Development Management and Licensing committee were responding to a Devon County Council survey about moves to improve bus services across the area, which is being run in tandem with a similar Government strategy.

County council transport chiefs plan to open up the survey to the public for consultation after publishing a plan to improve services in October. They will then aim to work with bus companies to give the public what services they say they want from April next year.

Meanwhile, they are asking public bodies such as local authorities what they think and town councillors left county officials in no doubt that they thought there was room for improvement.

Tavistock councillors were asked to rank the improvements they would like see in order of priority from one to seven, with number one being the most important.

Top of the buses shopping list for town councillors was cheaper fares, while number two had four priorities: extending the network to include more places; increase their frequency, expanding services into evenings and weekends and improving integration with other forms of travel, such as railways, cycling routes and park and ride areas.

Councillors also said prices are too high and they suffered from an infrequency of services, especially in rural areas. Where Tavistock is concerned, councillors said getting to Plymouth by bus is ‘very expensive, and takes far too long now that the route has been revised to take in Derriford Hospital and the train station etc. This makes it more attractive to use private cars.’

In rural areas, councillors said ‘infrequency of buses can make outward and return journeys in the same day very difficult, and almost impossible for travel to and from work purposes.’

To mitigate climate changes concerns, they said they would like to see the introduction of non-polluting buses and they need to be frequent, safe, reliable and affordable.’

Debo Sellis, the town’s county councillor, said she would be keeping close tabs on the result of the survey - but said it was also important to get the public involved when the new plan to rolled out for consultation in October.

She said: ‘I will be interested to see the results, because this is clearly about the people who actually use the services and how they will be supported.

‘I’m interested in the idea of electric buses, but I think they would have to be sustainable economically and ethically. I would urge members of the public to get involved in the consultation when it does become available. It’s no good disagreeing with something, then not doing something about it.’