Bucks plans 'root and branch' review to find £2.3m cuts

 

Buckinghamshire CC is consulting residents during a ‘root and branch’ review of its transport services, as it looks to save £2.3m.

The council said it currently spends £24m annually on providing and supporting transport services but ‘while savings have been made in the past few years, another £2.3m needs to be found for the future’.

It is looking at ‘every area of transport’ - home to school, services for adult social care, concessionary fares and non-commercial bus services.

”Local

The consultation ‘to help with future transport planning’ will include resident focus groups in selected areas and an online survey that asks residents about their bus, train and taxi journeys.

Mark Shaw, cabinet member for transport, said the review is looking at external services as well as the way services are managed and provided internally.

He said: ‘We will be looking at everything we do in this area, how we do it, how much it costs and whether we can do it differently. We don't know all the answers, so it's vital we work with communities so they can tell us what's needed locally and how we can design new approaches together.

‘This is about listening to our residents’ real needs, and not taking a guess at perceived needs. We want to see what themes emerge and plan intelligently for the longer-term, and that’s why we want as many as possible to talk to us through this survey.’

The council had previously planned cuts to bus subsidies and planned highways maintenance but said in March that an additional £10.8m government funding over three years would mean that some of the impact of cuts could be ‘spread over three years rather than imposed immediately’.

Lianna Etkind, public transport campaigner at Campaign for Better Transport, said: 'Buses are a lifeline, especially for those who cannot drive or afford a car, and more people commute by bus than any other form of public transport. Cutting buses is a sure way to cut people off from jobs and friends; to increase congestion and pollution; and to damage the local economy.

'Bus users in Buckinghamshire should use the online survey to have their say on these planned cuts and we would urge the council to protect bus services, and the jobs and businesses that rely on them.'

 
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