Bus subsidy cuts for North Yorkshire?
North Yorkshire County Council has opened a consultation on proposed bus subsidy reductions. The local authority plans to make the cuts following a recent government announcement that it needs to find a further £66m saving between 2015 and 2019. Last month, members of the council approved public consultations on a range of proposals designed to meet the new savings target. They include a plan to consider reducing the amount spent on bus subsidies by 25%, or £1.1m a year. The council spends some £4.4m per annum subsidising the 20% of bus journeys which are not commercially viable. In assessing the options for a reduction, a strategy would be adopted of ensuring that as many communities as possible retain a basic bus service to their nearest market town and that an inter-urban network with a minimum set frequency is maintained.
Executive Member for Passenger Transport, County Councillor, Chris Metcalfe, said, ‘We know that bus services are a lifeline for many people – not everyone has access to a car. However, we have huge financial pressures and we have to reduce our expenditure across the board. We have produced some detailed information which identifies the potential impact of this proposal, and hope that people will make constructive comments as part of the consultation process. We will take careful account of all the comments we receive before making a final decision as to what action we will take.’
The consultation runs until 25 November. Details are available online at http://www.northyorks.gov.uk/busconsultation, by calling the customer service centre on 0845 8 72 73 74 or by visiting any of the county council’s libraries.