Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 2°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk: Rural bus services in county suffer huge cut in subsidies – Labour

08:00 18 April 2014

Rural bus subsidies are cut

Rural bus subsidies are cut

Subsidies for rural bus services in Suffolk saw some of the biggest cuts in the country over the last four years according to new figures compiled by the Labour Party.

shares

The amount spent supporting uneconomic bus services in the county was cut by half between 2010/11 and 2013/14. Only Northamptonshire with a 55% cut saw a more dramatic reduction in support for its rural buses.

Freedom of information requests by shadow local government minister Hilary Benn found that bus services across shire counties and unitary authorities had seen their grants cut by an average of 23% and 24% respectively.

Shire counties have cut their subsidies by 23% from an average of £5.62million in 2010/11 to £4.34m in 2013/14, while unitary authorities have undergone cuts of 24% from an average of £1.2m in 2010/11 to £0.91m in 2013/14.

In Suffolk the major cuts came in the budget of 2011, but the county council tried to ensure that no communities were left totally cut off from public transport.

Graham Newman has become cabinet member for transport since the cuts were introduced, but said the authority had no alternative but to cut subsidies.

He said “It’s all well and good the Labour party complaining about the reduction in bus subsidies. The sad fact is that Labour left this country bankrupt when they were voted out of power in 2010.

“The Coalition have had to address that issue, and local authority budgets have traditionally been the first call for successive Governments of all political colours when savings have been required.

“But here in Suffolk, we have largely maintained our supported passenger transport network since 2011, and in fact some services have flourished since that time, after becoming commercially operated.

“We have seen the return of some evening and Sunday services, particularly in the Bury St Edmunds area.

“SCC’s passenger transport team have worked hard with operators to produce profitable routes, and where that has not been possible, have introduced services like Demand Responsive Transport and have further supported Community Transport operators.”

Opposition transport spokeswoman Sanda Gage said: “While Suffolk County Council continues to focus on cutting funding rather than subsiding rural bus services, we will continue to read of bus routes being dropped by operators, communities without a regular bus service, and young people unable to get to work placements or training.

“I have recently asked that Graham Newman looks to extend the Endeavour Card age range from 16-19 to 16-24 years and offer it automatically to all apprentices, funded by the council.”

shares

3 comments

  • If it was up to Labour we`d all be travelling by donkey!

    Report this comment

    Supernova6

    Friday, April 18, 2014

  • This is a party political broad cast by the Labour Party , on news over 3 years old ,

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Friday, April 18, 2014

  • Graham, so much for taking responsibility for your own department! Of course you weren't to blame for the economy, you were in charge of the Education authority at the time...how is Suffolk and it's schools doing now? Do you take responsibility for them instead?

    Report this comment

    Conan67

    Friday, April 18, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Jean Sarah with her son, Charlie

A cancer patient faces a race against time to raise money for surgery unavailable on the NHS before the disease spreads from her lungs.

Missing teen Wafa Benaziza

Concern is growing for a missing teenage girl who was last seen leaving her home in Essex last week.

View over Sudbury showing the area that could be used for the bypass

A bypass is the “key to prosperity in Sudbury”, it has been claimed, but so far the route has not been included in an official blueprint mapping out the future of the area over the next 20 years.

Stock image: emergency services at the scene of a fire

Firefighters tackled a blaze at a residential caravan in west Suffolk last night.

Christine Taylor and her grandson William Taylor and her partner Philip Wall - all victims of a crash on the A14 at Trimley.

A car passenger has died after never recovering from injuries suffered in a crash which killed two other people – two and-a-half years ago.

Police officer. Library image.

Exclusive: Last year officers at Essex Police took more than 11,000 sick days for stress, anxiety or depression – more than double the figure five years ago.

Fire (stock photo)

Two vehicles and a section of fencing in a communal car park in north Essex were found burning in the early hours of this morning.

Man admits sexual assault

Police have expressed their relief that a woman who was sexually assaulted in her own home will not need to re-live her experiences during a trial, as her attacker admitted to the crime.

Police road closure.

A van driver has been rushed to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in a life-threatening condition after a crash near Higham.

Traffic. Library image.

The A12 northbound has reopened at Witham after a six vehicle crash.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages