Despite this, many of the proposed cuts to routes have been dropped as a result of pressure from the Don’t Stop Our Bus campaign led by Labour parliamentary candidate Sarah Owen and local residents. However, there are still some major cuts that will impact on the lives of local bus users.
Of the 101 subsidised routes, 90 will continue to operate with bus operators agreeing to take on 23 evening and weekend routes on a commercial basis.
Sarah Owen said,
“We may have not got everything we wanted, but, on the whole, this is a victory for us. We mustn’t forget that for those affected by the remaining cuts as this is still a massive impact on their lives. I want those people to know that I will continue to fight for a bus service that serves local people, and not the bus companies, and look forward to a Labour Government reversing the deregulation that has caused this.”
Cllr John Hodges spoke at the cabinet and proposed alternatives as to how savings could be made by stripping back departments and cutting out inefficiencies.
“The public said no. The full council said no. I implore the cabinet to renegotiate and don’t just cut and slash. Leave our public services intact for those that depend on them.”