PUBLIC transport in Marlborough is so bad that young people have little choice but to move away to broaden their employment opportunities, says a new report.

Transition Marlborough, which is calling for better public transport for the town’s commuters, has circulated the report to town councillors.

The report looks at public transport and ways of encouraging more people to use it.

It states that people need encouragement to use public transport, adding: “Our investigations have shown that Marlborough’s current public transport system is not joined up and thus cannot support commuters at peak times.

“This lack of planning is disadvantaging our community by restricting job opportunities for people who do not have cars, especially the young.

“The resultant loss of many young people is having negative effects on the viability of our town.”

Coun Rich Pitts, outside spaces committee chairman and a leading member of the Transition movement, said: “We are trying to make sure that bus transport is properly considered in any future strategy for the area.”

He said it was likely that his own two teenage sons would be among young people eventually forced to leave the town they had been brought up in to find jobs that were accessible by public transport.

“Yes, my own two sons will definitely be affected,” he said.

With proper planning between the bus companies, Wiltshire Council and Marlborough Town Council, the report states, revised bus timetables with more direct express bus services to Swindon at peak times and better bus links with stations at Bedwyn, Pewsey and Swindon would encourage more people to leave their cars at home.

If necessary dedicated minibuses should be laid on to the stations, said the report, citing the fact that there are 15 buses from Marlborough to Great Bedwyn every day but few are any use to working people, as the first bus does not arrive until after the busiest commuter trains to Reading and Paddington have left.

Buses intended to connect with early commuter trains at Swindon leave passengers waiting more than 30 minutes for their trains.

In conclusion the report states: “Young people who are starting out in employment have little choice but to move away from Marlborough if they want to broaden their work opportunities.”