More cuts follow from council consultations

Two adjacent councils are both proposing cuts in the amount they spend on bus service support.

As a result of consultation, Cheshire East will retain more routes than originally proposed. A projected saving of £1.576million from the budget of £3.539million has been reduced to £1.18million as a result of the retention of some journeys that were to have been withdrawn.

The consultation saw the entire network revamped into 10 main groups, which were lettered for identification. It is unclear whether these will be used for the new look network or whether they will retain existing route numbers where appropriate.

Many evening and Sunday services are still to be withdrawn, while there will be reduced frequencies on some daytime routes. Seven communities are listed as no longer having any service, although dial-a-ride will be available as an alternative. The changes will take effect during 2018.

Staffordshire has announced the results of an eight-week consultation on the future of subsidised services. It stresses that more than 90% of journeys are on commercial routes and that fewer than 4% of journeys will no longer be possible.

Its £1.3million budget, reduced from £2.3million, will end support for many evening and Sunday services, as well as the withdrawal of six dial-a-ride schemes.

Operators affected include Arriva Midlands, First Potteries, Midland Classic and National Express West Midlands, although the biggest impact appears to be on D&G Bus. More than 25 routes run by the operator will change, ranging from pruning of early or late journeys to complete withdrawal.

Some cross-boundary routes into Derbyshire and Stoke-on-Trent are also affected, with Staffordshire withdrawing its contribution to jointly funded services. The changes are due to be implemented from April onwards.