Derbyshire County Council makes U-turn on bus cut proposals

Public outcry over proposals to cut bus services across the county has made council chiefs reconsider their plans.

Thursday, 24th November 2016, 9:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 10:40 am
The Derbyshire Times' James Heading, at a bus stop in Crich, from where he took a leisurely ride back to Chesterfield.

Originally, Derbyshire County Council has proposed to save £4.6million by withdrawing all funding for subsidised bus services from October 2017.

However a consultation earlier this year revealed the weight of public feeling over the proposals - with 92 per cent of respondents disagreeing with them. As a consequence councillors have now announced they will approve £3million to maintain the majority of the services currently in place.

Cabinet member for highways, transport and infrastructure Councillor Dean Collins, said: “We had a huge response to the consultation. And it’s clear that going ahead with our original proposals for cuts with the inevitable loss of bus services would have a significant impact on the day to day lives of many Derbyshire residents.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“We’ve listened to peoples’ concerns and as a result we’ve thought long and hard about what we can fund in the future. We recognise that getting out and about is a top priority, especially for younger and older people to retain their independence.

“We also recognise that if a group of councils and regional mayor in Sheffield City Region (SCR) get the go-ahead to take on powers for services in Chesterfield including public transport, this could also affect public transport services for people living in Bolsover, North East Derbyshire, Derbyshire Dales and beyond.

“We believe the proposals for Chesterfield to join SCR will impact massively on people living across the county and that these proposals were being pursued without proper consultation which is why we challenged them in the High Court.

“Bearing all this in mind, we have reconsidered our original plans for public transport.”

Currently 15 per cent - 144 services - of the county’s bus services are funded by the council. Typically these are early morning, evening, Sunday and rural services.