County 'U-turn' after bus service cuts in Hertfordshire backed by just 30 out of 4,548 respondents

PUBLISHED: 11:20 31 October 2014 | UPDATED: 11:20 31 October 2014

County Hall, in Hertford

County Hall, in Hertford

Archant

A councillor has bowed to pressure and pledged to "revise" plans for bus service cuts, after just 30 out of 4,548 respondents backed the plans.

Terry Douris, executive member for HCC's highways and waste management branchTerry Douris, executive member for HCC's highways and waste management branch

Following the damning figures, Cllr Terry Douris, the county’s highways chief, was urged by opposition Lib Dems to change course.

In a letter to Cllr Douris, which has been seen by the Wewlwyn Hatfield Times, Herts Lib Dem leader Stephen Giles-Medhurst told him: “You will be aware the results of the public consultation on this carried out by the county council and although the consultation is not headed ‘bus cuts’ nor highlights unless read in detail that services will go, some 4,548 responses were received.

“Only 30 replies support the cuts.”

He also outlined opposition to the plans from others, including NHS bosses, as reported in the Welwyn Hatfield Times previously.

He concluded: “I hope you will agree with me that it’s time to stand up for public services in this way as it’s now established these cuts would be harmful to our communities.”

Following the bombshell Cllr Douris told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “The consultation responses have been extremely helpful in giving us a good understanding of residents’ views about bus services.

“It is inevitable that in situations like this the vast majority of people will want to retain the services as at present.

“However we have taken the time to listen to what residents have had to say about bus services and as a result I am proposing to revise our options for possible changes.”

He added: “Based on the feedback we have received, the revised options will look to include a later cut-off point for supported services, protection where possible for routes that directly serve hospitals and to establish a limit of funding to be made available for supporting local bus services.”

The extent of the U-turn will be revealed at the Highways and Waste Management Panel meeting on November 4.

Cllr Douris went on to say: “It is important to recognise that these only involve services which the county council funds and does not include commercial services.”

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