Stoke & Staffordshire

Stoke-on-Trent cuts 'should spare' off-peak buses

Off-peak bus services in Stoke-on-Trent should be saved from budget cuts, a council steering group has said.

The city council said it could save £370,000 by removing all of its bus service subsidies.

A report by fellow councillors said there were no commercial alternatives to many subsidised evening, early morning and Sunday services.

The group said subsidised daytime services could be cut though as these had commercial alternatives.

'Less important'

Cabinet member for housing, planning and transportation, councillor Brian Ward said: "In these times of austerity we have to find cuts and savings.

"Quite a few routes are poorly used. We've been looking at this with Highways over a long period and in one case on the most expensive bus route which travels a long distance, there were only two people using it and on some of the other routes there weren't many more [people]."

Council officers recommendation in the Budget proposal 1 November 2010 said bus services were "less important" and "less in need of improvement" than clean streets and road and pavement maintenance, according to a customer survey.

The cutting of all subsidised bus routes would not have a significant effect on the delivery of our Local Transport Plan targets, the officers' recommendation said.

Both the officers' recommendations and the council's transport steering group suggestions will inform the overall budget decisions to be taken by full council.

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