Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire County Council warns of bus service cuts

People getting on a bus
Image caption The county council said it would not abandon those in rural communities

Dozens of rural communities could be left without any bus services under spending cuts proposed by one county council.

Bus subsidies would be cut by more than £2m as part of plans to save £6m from the Lincolnshire County Council budget.

Councillor Richard Davies said the Conservative-led council would ensure communities were "not abandoned".

Martin Abrams, a public transport campaigner, said a cut in bus services would be "devastating" for many people.

It is estimated the cuts would affect about 160 services and mean a loss of 1.8 million bus journeys annually.

Mr Davies said the council would work with operators to make best use of services.

Image caption Some people see the bus as a "lifeline" say the Campaign for Better Transport

He said: "We are seeing a big reduction in the size of government grants and that has an impact on our ability to provide services like public transport.

"We will provide them with a safety net for very small communities through the Call Connect service."

Martin Abrams, from the Campaign for Better Transport, said: "[The cuts] will be devastating for people that rely on them across Lincolnshire.

"It's absolutely heartbreaking when you hear from people who rely on buses as their lifeline.

"This is where local and national politicians need to pause and recognise that there are people out there who will be completely stuck without buses."

Bus passenger, Sue Sturrock, said: "[The bus] means a great deal to me. It gives you the independence you need... I have had two hip replacements and I do rely on the bus.

"I go into town two or three times a week... the bus is essential for me with the way I walk."

A final decision on the budget cuts will take place in the next few months.

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