Pre-booked bus services only plan for Derbyshire under new funding cuts

Many more bus services will be out of service from October 2017 under the County Council's proposals.
Many more bus services will be out of service from October 2017 under the County Council's proposals.

More than 150 bus services in Derbyshire could be axed from October 2017 under proposals recently put forward by Derbyshire County Council.

The council will now consult on the proposals to stop the services - unless the companies who run them can find some way of making them commercially viable.

The consultation also includes a proposal to replace the subsidy with funding for a minimum of ten ‘flexibly routed services’ which would cover four areas of the county on a pre-booked basis only.

Derbyshire County Council’s transport cabinet member Councillor Dean Collins said: “We’re now entering our seventh year of Government austerity cuts and have no choice but to stop funding some of the services we are not obliged by law to provide.

“We know that the cuts we are having to make will affect local people. This is why we are using money from our reserves to keep services running until October 2017, and will use the money we have left to fund a new demand responsive transport system which will enable people living in our more rural areas to get some opportunities to travel.

“No final decisions about our proposals for transport have yet been made and local people will have an opportunity to have their say when we consult later this month.”

Barry Lewis, leader of the Conservative group on Derbyshire County Council, said: “Decent public transport links have been eroded in recent years and the latest proposed cuts will damage them still further. If you are elderly and isolated in a rural area your hopes of getting to appointments at the doctors or going shopping will be diminished.

“Hopes now hinge on a demand responsive service but in the longer term this will do little to ameliorate the poor choices made by this administration on this issue.

“It needs to look where else it might instead make cuts, on nonessential areas like the expensive communications company that advises them on how best to grab headlines that blame everyone else for their poor choices, or its £1 million Innovations Team,” he added.