Sunday, 10 January 2016 15:31

Dorset plans £500k rural bus cuts

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Dorset plans £500k rural bus cuts

Dorset County Council is looking to save £500,000 from a review of rural bus services.

The local authority is asking local people how they would be affected if the council stops subsidies for services that run once or twice a week.

Instead, the county council would support the development of more community-based transport schemes.

A four-week public consultation will start on Monday 11 January asking local people how the changes would affect them, said Peter Finney, the council's cabinet member for environment.

"With significant reductions in our funding from government, we need to focus on bus services that support Dorset's economy by helping people get to school or work.

To meet the council's target of saving £500,000 in 2016/17, the changes would need to be in place from April.

"Community schemes, such as dial-a-ride, can be more responsive to people's needs for social and leisure journeys. There is already a good network of community transport in Dorset and we want to help it grow.

"We are asking people whether they are aware of schemes in their area and encouraging more volunteers to join them. We also need to find out where there are gaps and work with communities to fill them."

A list of affected services and consultation document is available from libraries, and from town and parish council offices.

The consultation runs until 8 February. Results will be taken to the council's Cabinet on 24 February for a decision.

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