Jan 9 2014 by Sophie McCoid, Ormskirk Advertiser
BUS services across West Lancashire are set to be axed or drastically reduced if plans proposed by the county council go ahead.
Funding will be withdrawn for evening and Sunday services that currently receive council subsidies to allow them to operate.
The routes affected in West Lancs will include service reductions on the 12A, 113, 300, 375, 611, 612 and 695 and the proposed cuts in services will take place on May 18.
The North West Green Party has condemned the proposed withdrawal of bus services and have accused Lancashire County Council of squandering money on unnecessary road building schemes, while populations in West Lancs are left increasingly cut off.
Peter Cranie, the Green Party’s Euro Election candidate in the North West said: “These decisions on transport that will affect the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. It will be young people, pensioners and the unwaged that will be hit hardest.
“We find this particularly difficult to swallow because the council can find the money to fund unnecessary new roadbuilding schemes in Lancashire, but not to protect vital public transport.”
Maurice George of the West Lancs Green Party said: "This is another example of the false priorities of the county council. Their policy is to punish the people who most need cheap transport".
County Councillor John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "We would never have chosen to be in this financial situation but have to find ways to drastically reduce our budget due to cuts imposed by central government.
"We're still consulting on this budget proposal, so nothing has yet been agreed, but a very important part of it is to invest an additional £500,000 in community transport such as dial-a-ride services to ensure that support is focused on those with the greatest need, and where the public transport network is particularly limited.
"The county council spends around £8m each year subsidising bus travel. This proposal would maintain the bulk of that spending, while saving £3.8m, by focusing on subsidising routes during the day, when they are most used by people going about their business.”
Will this affect you? Get in touch by emailing Sophie McCoid at sophie. email@example.com