Controversial plans to cut all subsidised bus services on the Fylde coast would not be needed if Lancashire was given London-style powers to regulate its buses, a senior councillor has said.
Lancashire County Council is proposing to pull its funding for unprofitable routes – in a bid to save almost £9m a year – as part of a raft of measures aimed at plugging a £170m hole in its budget.
The Gazette’s Save Our Buses campaign – which calls on County Hall to commit to protecting the vital services that residents rely on to get to work, school and health services – has already attracted more than 300 signatures.
As the council’s cabinet prepares to finalise its budget proposal on Thursday, deputy leader Coun David Borrow said: “Quite a few councils, including Cumbria County Council have removed all bus subsidies already.
“When bus services could be regulated, it was possible to do it in way that profitable routes subsidised unprofitable ones.
“Rather than council taxpayers subsidising bus services, the very popular services were used to pay for them.”
The Labour party has pledged to reinstate bus regulation, which exists in London, if elected in May, he added.
“If we don’t save money in once area then we have got to save it some where else,” he added.
The Gazette is calling on readers to back the campaign to stop the planned bus cuts, which would leave a dozen Fylde coast villages and communities without a service.
How to sign up to support our ‘Save Our Buses’ bid
There are a number of different ways you can support The Gazette’s campaign to save our subsidised buses – as hundreds of readers already have.
You can simply fill in and return the petition in the paper.
Alternatively, the petition has now moved online and you can show your support by logging on to Petition