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Cheshire East councillors pin the blame of bus cuts on central Government
A PORTION of bus companies operating subsidised services will continue to ply the same routes, despite having their funding axed, claims Cheshire East Council (CEC).
From January, numerous school day and rural services across Crewe will be affected by CEC's decision to cut subsidies.
This week, CEC said it was ‘working closely with bus companies to encourage them to continue operating routes and services.’
So far, 75 per cent of providers said they would maintain the same routes without CEC funding.
Labour Group local services spokesman, clr Ken Edwards, said: “The excessive cuts demanded by the Government in local authority expenditure are forcing councils to unpick the social fabric of the nation.
“In an area like Cheshire East, a regular well organised public transport system is vital to support the quality of life of non-drivers, to enable people to get to work to access medical services, leisure services and shops.
“All these cuts particularly affect the vulnerable, those who do not have access to their own transport. Inevitably the people who suffer most are the young and the poor.
Clr Rod Menlove, said: “It is no secret that the funds we receive from central Government to pay for local services have been falling, and we do not wish to transfer the burden onto local taxpayers.”
Clr Menlove acknowledged there ‘may be instances where a bus company decides it cannot run the service on a commercial basis if it isn’t viable to do so’.
Cabinet has agreed to spend £150,000 investment in flexible transport to help elderly and disabled residents in rural areas access shops.
Leader of CEC, Clr Michael Jones, added: “I want to reassure all people who don’t live in towns that we will do all we can to ensure that everyone can access essential local services.”
See the full list of affected services under the ‘public transport consultation’ tab at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk