Lib Dems slam County bus cuts consultation as a sham

February 10, 2015 1:13 PM

Conservatives include bus cuts savings in their budget although consultation does not end till April


Despite the public still being 'consulted' until 10 April on proposed changes to county-funded bus services that could see 39 bus routes cut and all services after 7,30pm abolished, the ruling Conservatives at County Hall have decided to include the proposed savings in their budget for this year.

The bus cuts will save the County Council £800,000 this year, as the cuts will not be made until September, and £1.5m in future years. This is on top of savings of £1m made due to efficiencies in bus services contract that do not affect any routes.

Liberal Democrat Leader and Highways Spokesperson Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst slammed the decision of the Conservatives at Monday's county council Highways Panel to include these cuts in the budget before the consultation had been finished. The results of it are not due to be considered until 12 May.

He said: "This is a slap in the face for bus users. This means beyond doubt that the consultation is a sham and the Conservatives have no intention of listening to what residents say - they have made up their minds! Previous statements that no decision would be made until after the General Election have been shown to be misleading."

At the Highways meeting at County Hall on Monday the Conservatives refused a Lib Dem bid to get the bus cuts savings removed from the draft budget for 2015/16.

Cllr Sandy Walkingon said, " The consultation only started a few weeks ago - the ink on it is barely dry. This is an insult to residents. "