Community Transport Scheme to Replace Scrapped Bus Routes in Dorset
5:49pm 4th December 2013
(Updated 6:17pm 4th December 2013)
A number of bus routes in Dorset have been scrapped in the latest move to save money on the Council's budget.
The local authority agreed the move at a meeting today (Wednesday 4th December) and said they'd invest in community transport schemes in rural areas affected.
They County Council need to save £850,000 from its 2.8 million bus subsidy expenditure by April after losing Government funding.
But it's not all doom and gloom, after detailed negotiations with bus companies they've managed to find additional savings of around £120,000 which will be used to keep key bus services - that were facing the chop - in Dorset's more isolated areas running.
Cabinet says no community that currently has a service will be left without one.
A public consultation during the Autumn helped shape Councillors final decision.
Cllr Hilary Cox, the council's Cabinet member for environment, said:
"We have taken note of the 1,200 responses and listened to all the comments. For example, we have worked with several communities to ensure that they will continue to have a Saturday service, even though this meant - in some cases - we have had to reduce services during the week.
"This review is not something we have undertaken lightly, and we fully understand that some bus services offer a lifeline to residents without transport of their own. Unlike many councils, we are still putting a substantial amount of money - £2 million - into supporting local bus services
"And as part of this package we are also investing an additional £25,000 to help community transport schemes start up. There are already 60 voluntary car schemes, dial-a-rides and other community transport initiatives in existence across the county, helping overcome rural isolation."
Details on community transport schemes can be found here.