County council urged to drop bus cuts plan

A Stagecoach bus
A Stagecoach bus

City councillors are urging the county council to reconsider its proposals to cut bus subsidies which would result in some people being “virtually marooned”.

A motion being put forward by Lancaster City Coun Susie Charles, and supported by others, calls on the county council not to terminate its public transport subsidy on routes where no alternative services are available.

The motion reads: “Lancaster City Council recognises the deficit inherited by the Coalition Government and understands the need to make savings by all councils nationwide.

“However the proposals by Lancashire County Council to withdraw all evening, Sunday and Bank Holiday subsidised bus journeys to save money from May 18 2014 will ensure that young people, the elderly and vulnerable and low income families within our communities are disproportionately affected, and therefore virtually marooned without alternative services being available.”

Lancashire County Council commenced its public consultation on December 12 last year, and proposes to make over £4m of savings by withdrawing funding for certain services.

MPs Eric Ollerenshaw and David Morris have been vocally opposed to the proposals, as have many bus users and members of the public.

In the Lancaster district the services affected would be the numbers 5, 7, 10, 40, 42, 51, 55, 81A, 81B and 89.

County councillors are expected to agree what changes will be made to subsidies at a full council meeting on February 20.