Council to ‘carefully’ consider bus cuts

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North Yorkshire County Council has confirmed that plans for further cuts in bus subsidies will not be introduced until April 2016 at the earliest.

The authority said it was concerned that access to essential services remains.

The announcement follows fears that further cuts to subsidies could affect vulnerable people in the county’s rural communities.

The authority said it has decided to take more time for “careful consideration” of any future passenger transport savings proposals. The county council’s executive agreed last January that a review of the remainder of the subsidised network should look to identify scope for further cuts.

However a statement from the authority yesterday said councillors now recognised that more time was needed to ensure that access to essential services is maintained.

County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Integrated Passenger Transport said: “It is crucially important to this authority that people across this extensive, largely rural county are able to continue to access vital services and therefore we must give very careful consideration to a whole series of options,” The authority is currently carrying out a review of how local bus services can be made more sustainable.

A scrutiny committee has also set up a task group to consider how the needs of communities can be met through a range of transport options. This will report back in October.

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