A public consultation is underway in the East Riding of Yorkshire to determine whether the council should cut subsidies for local bus services…
East Riding of Yorkshire Council has launched a public consultation into the future of bus services in the region. The council plans to cut four Sunday journeys that divert to the village of Burstwick. Additionally, the service running between Hedon and Hull would also stop.
Paul Bellotti head of housing, transportation and public protection services said: “All councils are facing significant financial pressures across all services that cannot be ignored.
“Many other councils have been forced to make similar savings in the cost of bus subsidies, some have cut subsidies all together.
“A great deal of work has gone into finding out what people’s transport needs are, and then using that information to produce a proposal which minimises, as much as possible, the impact on bus users.
“In most cases, where there will be changes, it may mean passengers travelling on a different bus, at a different time, or on a different day, and we will do our best to ensure no community is left without a bus service.
“We are working closely with community transport groups and bus operators to make sure as best we can alternatives will be available for journeys that may be lost.”
The public consultation, which will include a short questionnaire that is available via the council’s website or by calling the council directly, will run until 28 August. Furthermore, 11 drop-in consultation events will also be held across the region during July and August so residents can meet transport officers and discuss the proposal.
The decision to cut funding for local bus services was made following a reduction in government grants. While some £118m has already been saved across the council’s budget since 2010, a further £60m still needs to be saved over the next four years.
In a statement the council said: “The council is proposing to reduce the financial support it gives to some bus journeys by £600,000.
“The vast majority of bus services will be unaffected by the proposal. There are almost six million bus journeys taken by passengers in the East Riding every year. Less than 5 per cent of those will be affected by the proposed changes.”
Currently, the council offers a 10 per cent subsidy to the bus network across East Riding and provides financial support to 90 bus contracts, costing some £1.3m. These contracts are not commercially viable without this assistance.
Bellotti added: “I would urge anyone who cares about public transport to take part in our consultation and let us know their views, so we can secure the best outcome for residents for the future.”