Dorset bus service cuts plan revised

Plans to cut bus services across Dorset are being revised following the results of a public consultation.

An £850,000 cut was deferred by the county council in July in order for the consultation to be carried out.

At its cabinet meeting on Wednesday the authority said it would produce a new report based on the feedback, including 10 petitions against the plans.

Concerns include access to medical services, and travel to and from work and school.

The authority said it also received more than 1,000 letters from individuals during the consultation, as well as from councillors and organisations.

'Honeypot villages'

Other concerns include social isolation, particularly to the elderly or disabled, and the effect on the economy, which were mirrored by some councillors during the meeting.

Councillor Alex Brenton, chair of Morden Parish Council, also said the cuts would cause major congestion in the county's "honeypot villages".

The council said 10 routes, of more than 60 affected services, had attracted the most comment, including the 21 service from Bournemouth to Burton and the 387 from Dorchester to Poole.

In its original proposal the council planned to withdraw rural services costing over £5 per passenger and urban services costing over £3 per passenger.

During the meeting Hilary Cox, the county council's cabinet member for environment, said: "We need to consider what is affordable, reasonable and cost-effective".

A final decision on the cuts is expected to be made on 4 December.

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