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Bus subsidy cutbacks set to be discussed by county councillors
1:28pm Thursday 16th January 2014 in News
A decision on controversial plans to cut bus service subsidies in South Craven and across North Yorkshire will be made next week.
Members of the county council’s executive will debate the issue on Tuesday.
The proposals – together with a plan to increase charges for post-16 home-to-school transport – were due to be discussed last week, but a ruling was postponed due to problems experienced by the public trying to access documents online over the Christmas period. Post-16 transport will be debated at an executive meeting on February 25.
Last month South Craven MP Julian Smith met county council bosses to stress the importance of rural bus services.
He discussed the issue with Councillor Chris Metcalfe – the executive member responsible for buses – and Richard Owens, the council’s assistant director for integrated passenger transport.
“I wanted to meet with those making decisions about the future of bus subsidies in North Yorkshire to ensure they were aware of the importance of rural bus services in my constituency and the strength of feeling my constituents have on this issue,” said Mr Smith.
Coun Metcalfe said proposed cuts formed part of the options to meet savings targets. “The council spends some £4.4 million a year subsidising the 20 per cent of bus journeys that are not commercially viable,” he said.
“In assessing the options for a reduction, our strategy has been to ensure as many communities as possible retain a basic bus service.”
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