Bus cuts consultation closes as 5,000 have their say

Protest against bus cuts outside County Hall
Protest against bus cuts outside County Hall

Around 5,000 people responded to a public consultation on county council plans to cut around £1million of bus services in Herts.

The period for people to send in their responses ended at midnight.

The authority was seeking the public’s views on how much financial support it provides to 119 bus services in the county, which are given funding help as they are not commercially viable due to limited demand.

The efforts cost the council £3.8m every year, and to reduce costs, it has proposed to withdraw all funding to services that run after 6.30pm daily and any that run on a Sunday.

Herts cabinet member for transport Terry Douris met campaigners against the proposals outside Hertford’s County Hall yesterday, and accepted a petition signed by almost more than 3,700 people.

38 Degrees campaign group member who started the petition Terry Figg said: “These cuts will divide society even more deeply.

“For people who want to and can afford to drive, it may be fine - but I’ve spoken to older people, unemployed people and people with disabilities who will be totally stranded if these services are cut.

“Their welfare will suffer, and so will our town centres. Who is listening to these people?”

Campaigners also argue fewer bus services would increase congestion on roads, as people with cars will be left no choice but to drive, while others described social and sports activities they wouldn’t be able to get to without the evening bus service.

The county council says the vast majority of bus services in Hertfordshire are operated commercially by bus operators and will not be affected by the latest proposals or the the public consultation.

It is thought the consultation responses will be acted on in November.