Cllr Alan Connett

Liberal Democrat councillor serving Kenton with Starcross on Teignbridge District Council and Exminster and Kenton division on Devon County Council Learn more

Devon’s rural bus services face the chop

by alanconnett on 18 February, 2010

Rural bus services across Devon face the chop today (18 February) as £286,000 is axed from the budget which helps support public transport to some of the most remote communities.

Devon County Council is refusing to say where the axe will fall but has confirmed the funding cut will mean less frequent buses from when the new summer timetable starts this May.

The cut to rural bus services is being brought in by the new Conservative administration at Devon County Council despite saying a year ago that services ‘are still not good enough’, say the opposition Liberal Democrats who oppose the bus cuts.

Local Lib Dem Cllr Alan Connett said:” The county council supports 200 bus services across the county and these are relied on by many residents. However, from May they are likely to find the frequency has been cut back.

“I have been trying to find out which services will be affected but at the moment where the axe will fall is being kept under wraps – or is still be worked out by the council’s officers.”

 “It is so often the case that the devil is in the detail and we just do not know how or when local communities with county council supported bus services will be told about the cut backs in their area.”

Councillors are being asked to back a £136,000 cut in development and contributions under the public transport section along with a further cut of £150,000 in rural bus subsidies when they meet later today to set the budget and Devon’s Council Tax for next year.

The Lib Dems argue that there is no need to cut the rural bus services at all. In an alternative budget – which would also deliver a lower council tax increase than the 1.98% put forward by the ruling Conservatives – the opposition Lib Dems say they would keep the rural bus budget and, with other changes, they argue Devon’s council tax need only go up by just 1.66%.

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