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Review of subsidised bus services

Published: 14/01/2016

Flintshire County Councils Cabinet at its meeting on 19 January is to debate the outcome of subsidised bus services that was approved by the Council’s Cabinet in May 2015. The Council currently spends £1,046,180 on subsidised bus services, providing support for around 30 bus routes, either through specific contracts or subsidising commercial bus operators for routes which would not be economically viable. Typically these are rural, early morning, evening, Sunday, Bank Holiday, some school transport services, along with services to areas such as certain villages, housing estates or employment sites where services would not otherwise run. A review of these existing subsidised services has identified a number of routes that are poorly used and are no longer sustainable. Under this review it is proposed to withdraw funding from these under-utilised, subsidised bus routes and create an efficient and effective core network of bus routes along the length of which a number of transportation ’hubs’ would be established. Working with Town & Community Councils, local communities, businesses and volunteer organisations the Council will support the enhancement and development of community based transport schemes that will provide local communities with links into the core network via the transportation ‘hubs’. Cabinet will consider and debate the core network of bus routes, the phased withdrawal of subsidised journeys and the Council’s proposals to engage with local communities in the development of community transport schemes, along with the views and opinions expressed by the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 13 January. Councillor Bernie Attridge, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment said: “The establishment of a core network of bus routes across the County is an important factor in supporting economic growth and for health and social well-being. “With the current and continuing financial challenges facing the County it is important that any subsidy provided by the Council is affordable, sustainable and provides value for money. “During the ‘This is our Moment’ public engagement sessions held at the end of last year it was heartening to hear local people and community groups expressing their interest in getting involved to help save services that matter to them and also raising concerns about the cost of subsidised bus services operating with very few passengers using them. We are now keen to build on that enthusiasm and are committed to working with local communities to help make things happen.”