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Brutal cuts to bus services will isolate us

Lancashire County Council is proposing to withdraw funding for some subsidised evening and Sunday bus services to save money.

Lancashire County Council is proposing to withdraw funding for some subsidised evening and Sunday bus services to save money.

Vulnerable residents will be left isolated if vital bus services are cut, opponents of the controversial proposals have claimed.

Lancashire County Council is consulting over plans to shave nearly £4m from the public transport budget over the next two years - a decision which will hit rural Wyre particularly hard, critics say.

The county council currently spends £8m a year subsidising bus services that are not commercially viable, it claims. The proposals would save £1.8m next year and £2m the following year.

But concerned residents said pulling subsidies for evening and Sunday services on three major bus routes in Over Wyre will leave many people cut off from society.

Posters have been put up around the area warning the 2C, 86 and 89 bus services are under threat.

As reported in The Gazette on December 12, a dozen subsidised services across the Fylde coast face losing part of their funding as part of a proposal put forward by County Hall bosses.

Resident Derek Ronson, of Knott End, said he plans to start a petition against the cuts.

He said: “I cannot believe they are thinking about doing this. If there’s no buses you can’t go anywhere.

“I go out sometimes on a Friday night to Poulton and get the last bus back.”

The county council needs to make savings of £300m over the next four years.

Officers say the plans will help cut spending while keeping up support for services when they are used most.

County councillor for Wyreside Vivien Taylor said: “We are trying to whip up as many people as possible to take part in the consultation. I am certainly fighting this tooth and nail.

“This proposed cutting of subsidised services in rural areas just denies many residents here the opportunity of experiencing life in the evenings. From 7pm we would just become isolated.”

The consultation will run until January 17.

Deadline to comment on cutbacks is pushed back

County Hall bosses have promised to listen to all comments made during the consultation period over plans to cut funding for subsidised evening and Sunday bus services.

Transport chiefs unveiled the proposals as part of an effort to save £3.8m over two years.

Lancashire County Council has insisted it will carefully consider public responses to the consultation before making a decision.

To view the planned changes online and comment on the proposals, visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/haveyoursay

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