Lincolnshire County Council has scrapped plans to cut bus funding and reduce winter gritting services, after receiving extra funding from the Government.
The council was due to end subsidies of around £2.2m to bus operators, which support 25% of the county’s bus routes, and reduce road gritting from 33% to 25% of its network.
But it said its final financial settlement gave it one-off additional funding of £5.2m for 2016-17 and £2.6m for 2017-18.
Cllr Marc Jones, executive councillor for finance, said: ‘We have carried out extensive consultation on our budget proposals where the public have shown that they understand the difficult financial decisions we are facing and have given a clear steer of where they believe our priorities should be.
‘That’s why … it is right that we use the additional funding, to reduce some of the service cuts we have to make, in areas the public have told us they really value.’
Lincolnshire CC has scrapped cuts to road gritting
Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) welcomed the council’s u-turn on bus funding. The group had recently highlighted Lincolnshire as one of 11 rural councils planning to cut subsidies, in what it called a ‘Beeching of the Buses’.
James MacColl, CBT’s head of campaigns, said: ‘This is great news, not only for all the people in Lincolnshire who have fought so hard to save these essential bus services, but for all the people who rely on rural buses to go about their daily lives.
'Local bus services play a vital role across Lincolnshire and are of huge benefit to the community socially, economically and environmentally. After so much local opposition people will be overjoyed the council has made the right decision to save these vital services.’