Worcestershire is one of the hardest-hit areas of UK for bus cuts

Worcester News: Bus cuts in Worcestershire: on the way Bus cuts in Worcestershire: on the way

WORCESTERSHIRE is one of the worst hit areas of the entire country for bus cuts, according to shock new findings.

Research from a national campaign group has placed the county among six different parts of the UK suffering the most devastating impact from plans to splash funding for public transport.

The Rural Services Network says Worcestershire, Cumbria, Dorset, Essex, North Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire will be worst affected by council cuts.

In September the county council is reducing a yearly £3 million buses funding pot to just £1.1 million, placing scores of services at risk of the chop.

The network, which campaigns for better rural public services, says it will have a terrible impact.

Cecilia Motley, chairman of the body, said: "Buses play a vital role in rural communities - especially for residents who do not have a car or other available transport.

"The historic unfair funding of rural councils by government means the impact of the recent and future budget cuts on rural councils is felt far greater than in other areas, as services started from a lower starting point.

"The impact of any cutbacks is likely to be greatest in 'shire counties' and there is likely to be a significant adverse impact on the operation of services in rural areas.

"Once bus routes are lost they are often gone forever.

"It can be very difficult, sometimes impossible, to restore routes in the future even if finances improve."

The findings were compiled with the help of the Local Government Association.

The county council has to cut around £99 million from budgets by 2019 in response to unpredecented reductions in Government grants.

It has defended the buses decision, saying the enture £3 million public transport subsidy was under threat before 8,500 people got involved in a public consultation.

The cash funds around 90 routes, including swathes of weekends and evening pick-ups in the county.

Keeping a subsidy of around £1.1 million will allow for some of the most critical routes to be saved.

A county council spokesman said: "On February 6 the council's cabinet agreed to take more time to consider the issue of bus subsidy funding following a consultation that generated 8,500 responses.

"We've consistently said that due to the financial challenges there's no easy answers when it comes tough issues like this but, importantly, we stressed the public's views would be taken into account, which is what is happening."

Negotiations are ongoing with bus operators.

Comments (4)

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12:01pm Thu 13 Mar 14

skychip says...

I am sure pensioners would be prepared to pay an annual fee for their passes rather than cut services.
I am sure pensioners would be prepared to pay an annual fee for their passes rather than cut services. skychip
  • Score: 0

1:43pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Jabbadad says...

I am sure you are right Skychip, however it would be illegal for them to be asked to pay any additional charges under the existing FREE Bus Pass Scheme introduced by Gordon Brown, which allowed Bus passes to be used anywhere in England excluding London (who own their own Busses), but kindly do allow our Bus passes to be accepted on their Busses. THANK YOU BORIS.
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The Fairest Bus Pass scheme was when the Disabled and Pensioners paid £5 for the pass and then had reduced or fixed fares, however Simon Geraghty who seems to be anti Old people proceeded to consider introducing all sorts of schemes including considering £10 or £12 charges for the Bus pass, plus zoning whereby we paid different fares for different Journies, but had to get back on a bus in the same Zone they got off at.
I am sure that the CON-servatives are considering scrapping Free Bus Passes, but I remind them that Bus Passes are not just as a Freeby for pensioners, but also to keep additional traffic out of the City Centres. IN worcester City some 8,000 Bus passes were issued. Just imagine if a large proportion of these people started to use cars. I think it's Called GRIDLOCK. But could well make the taxi owners happy, something the Tories appear to be happy with.
I am sure you are right Skychip, however it would be illegal for them to be asked to pay any additional charges under the existing FREE Bus Pass Scheme introduced by Gordon Brown, which allowed Bus passes to be used anywhere in England excluding London (who own their own Busses), but kindly do allow our Bus passes to be accepted on their Busses. THANK YOU BORIS. . The Fairest Bus Pass scheme was when the Disabled and Pensioners paid £5 for the pass and then had reduced or fixed fares, however Simon Geraghty who seems to be anti Old people proceeded to consider introducing all sorts of schemes including considering £10 or £12 charges for the Bus pass, plus zoning whereby we paid different fares for different Journies, but had to get back on a bus in the same Zone they got off at. I am sure that the CON-servatives are considering scrapping Free Bus Passes, but I remind them that Bus Passes are not just as a Freeby for pensioners, but also to keep additional traffic out of the City Centres. IN worcester City some 8,000 Bus passes were issued. Just imagine if a large proportion of these people started to use cars. I think it's Called GRIDLOCK. But could well make the taxi owners happy, something the Tories appear to be happy with. Jabbadad
  • Score: -1

5:16pm Thu 13 Mar 14

skychip says...

Also plenty of pensioners put money into the economy of Worcester by going into the City and spending whereas they might not if they had to pay for their bus fares
Also plenty of pensioners put money into the economy of Worcester by going into the City and spending whereas they might not if they had to pay for their bus fares skychip
  • Score: 1

5:38pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Jabbadad says...

I also understand that 85%+ of bus routes are profitable, and perhaps smaller busses should be used for the routes where the passenger numbers are lower, and not send 60 seater busse to pick up one or two passengers. I also think that those who live in the rural areas cannot expect the frequent bus services as on the busier and profitable routes.
In Redditch they have minibus cabs which are licensed to travel the same routes as busses and stop and pickup potential passengers along route a for a fixed payment.. I understand this has been a success.
There are Council officers involved in transport who have really inative ideas perhaps the Councillors should listen to them a little more.
I also understand that 85%+ of bus routes are profitable, and perhaps smaller busses should be used for the routes where the passenger numbers are lower, and not send 60 seater busse to pick up one or two passengers. I also think that those who live in the rural areas cannot expect the frequent bus services as on the busier and profitable routes. In Redditch they have minibus cabs which are licensed to travel the same routes as busses and stop and pickup potential passengers along route a for a fixed payment.. I understand this has been a success. There are Council officers involved in transport who have really inative ideas perhaps the Councillors should listen to them a little more. Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

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