Group urges caution on Devon bus cuts

Public transport cuts could hit society's most vulnerable people, a campaign group has said.

Devon County Council is looking to slash about £800,000 from its transport budget.

The Campaign for Better Transport said it was essential the young and elderly were looked after in the proposals.

The authority said much of its cuts had been made through more efficient working and vowed not to axe services altogether.

Bus reliance

If the changes go ahead, students in North Devon would have to pay more for a bus pass, while limits to free bus passes may be introduced.

Students could see the cost of their bus pass in North Devon rise from £396 per college year to £500 on subsidised bus services.

The council said this could raise £40,000.

Bus pass holders would also have to pay to use park and ride services to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

Martin Abrams, from the Campaign for Better Transport, said: "We need to... make sure vulnerable groups like the elderly, the young and job seekers who rely on the buses can still access the services they need."

A spokesperson for Devon County Council said: "The council has made no budget reductions and has not instigated any service withdrawals or reductions since April 2011.

"We are proposing a budget reduction of £762,000 in the coming financial year but this does not involve any bus service withdrawals."

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