Leicester

Leicestershire County Council plan to cut bus subsidies

Plans to cut some transport subsidies for disabled people, the over-60s and schoolchildren have been put forward by Leicestershire County Council.

The authority said it wanted to save £1.3m a year by making changes to the way home-to-school transport and some concessionary travel was funded.

Proposals include withdrawing bus subsidies for pupils of faith or voluntary-aided schools and over-16s.

The Conservative-run authority said it had to save £74m over four years.

The council said it also wanted to scrap free travel for disabled passengers before 09:30 and for both the over-60s and disabled people after 23:00 from Monday to Friday.

It is also planning to withdraw transport vouchers worth £33 a year for residents with disabilities who live more than 800m from an hourly bus service.

'Tough decisions'

Terry Kirby, from Leicestershire's Campaign for Better Transport, said he would be lobbying the council to find a compromise over the cuts.

"I can understand their (the council's) concerns but the way they're applying the cuts is very rigid.

"I think they will be laying themselves open to a lot of problems," he said.

Residents are being asked for their views on the plans as part of a consultation which runs until 2 April.

Lesley Pendleton, county council cabinet member for environment and transport, said: "The council has taken measures to balance its budget but, faced with further pressures, we have to make some tough decisions.

"We have been funding elements of home to school transport and concessionary travel for older and disabled people above and beyond the national requirements.

"However, faced with the further cuts to funding we are now having to look again at this and are asking people to have their say about our proposals."

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