The council is reminding Derbyshire people that there is still time to take part in a consultation on the future of the county’s bus services.
The council is proposing to withdraw all funding for subsidised bus services – journeys that cannot be run commercially – and community transport Dial-a-Bus (DAB) ‘shopping buses’ from October 2017.
This means that unless they can be run commercially or funded from elsewhere they will stop. Typically they are early morning, evening, Sunday and rural services.
The consultation runs until Sunday 24 April 2016. Questionnaires can be completed online at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/transportchanges. Printed copies are available from all Derbyshire libraries and district and borough council offices.
The four proposals are:
• to withdraw all funding - £4.6m – for buses paid for by the council. This affects around 139 services
• to withdraw all funding for the county’s six community transport DAB services – just over £1m
• to put on a Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) service in the place of subsidised and DAB services
• to put on a new Door-to-Door Plus service for people who, through mobility difficulties, would be unable to use the proposed DRT service.
Details of the DRT service have yet to be developed, but in principle, passengers have to book their journey, then wait to be picked up at a specified location on a given day and time.
There is usually a main route but buses can divert off this to pick up and drop at other places on the way if this has been pre-planned.
This service would be limited with around 10 minibuses to serve the county. Buses would be wheelchair-friendly and could be used by passengers who currently use subsidised buses or community transport services.
Councillor Dean Collins, cabinet member for highways, transport and infrastructure, said: “By 2020 the funding we get from Government will be more than a third lower than in 2010.
“These cuts are unprecedented and mean we have no choice about scaling back most of the services we provide, particularly when, by law, we do not have to provide them.”