New bus cuts options revealed after strong opposition to proposed reduced services

PUBLISHED: 12:56 03 November 2014 | UPDATED: 13:03 03 November 2014

County Hall, Hertford

County Hall, Hertford

Archant

A new list of money-saving options have been revealed under proposed bus cuts following strong opposition to plans to slash services.

Councillors will be asked to consider the scaled back cuts at a County Hall meeting tomorrow (Tuesday).

Initially Herts County Council proposed to slash funding for its contracted bus services after 6.30pm from Monday to Saturday and all day on Sundays.

But just 30 out of the 4,548 respondents to the public consultation were in support of the move.

New options drawn up include maintaining funding for bus routes that serve hospitals and train stations after 6.30pm, withdrawing funding for services running after 7.30pm from Monday to Saturday rather than 6.30pm, with the option of continuing to fund those that serve hospitals after the cut off time.

The new proposals still suggest stopping funding for Sunday services, except those that travel to hospitals up until 7.30pm.

There’s also the choice to apply a limit to the level of subsidy per passenger journey across all contracted services.

Last week Councillor Terry Douris, the county’s highways chief, told the WHT that a revised plan would be put forward in light of the strength of feeling. He said: “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.”

The changes to bus routes only involve those that are funded by the county council - around 25 per cent of the local service amounting to 101 contracts - and not commercial services.

If any of the new recommendations are agreed by the Highways and Waste Management Cabinet Panel tomorrow, a new public consultation would have to be drawn up and would run for a three months from January.


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