Proposed cuts to bus services could have devastating impact, councillors warned

Council leader John Clark (right) with Cllr Ralph Butcher

Council leader John Clark (right) with Cllr Ralph Butcher - Credit: Archant

Proposed cuts to bus services could have a devastating impact for those relying on them to get to school or work, councillors were warned.

Overview and Scrutiny committee of the leader’s annual meeting with the committee. Cllr Kit Owen.

Overview and Scrutiny committee of the leader’s annual meeting with the committee. Cllr Kit Owen. - Credit: Archant

Stage Coach is looking at its 46 and 56 services to March, Wisbech, Wisbech St Mary and surrounding villages.

Councillor Kit Owen asked at Monday’s overview and scrutiny committee what steps Fenland District Council was taking to consult with Stage Coach, which has taken over the services from Norfolk Green,

He said: “These are not shop buses they are work and school buses.

“If they are curtailed then people, citizens of FDC, could find themselves out of education or employment because they can’t get there.”

Overview and Scrutiny committee of the leader’s annual meeting with the committee. Cllr Jan French.

Overview and Scrutiny committee of the leader’s annual meeting with the committee. Cllr Jan French. - Credit: Archant


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Portfolio holder Councillor Ralph Butcher said: “I believe the bus company is looking at services that are subsidised. Bus times and stops are a commercial decision.”

Councillor Virginia Bucknor said: “These are two major bus services, and any cutbacks will seriously impact on people, on how they get to work, get to school, and get to hospital.

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“We give £50,000 to a dial a bus ride service (FACT) and I have concerns about the receipts, I don’t think it is as clear as you think.”

Cllr Butcher said: “It is county council which is really involved here.

Chief executive Paul Medd (right) with council leader John Clark

Chief executive Paul Medd (right) with council leader John Clark - Credit: Archant

“There was recently a consultation involving the 31 service affecting Whittlesey and after consulting the service stayed.

“We have to hope that this consultation will go as well as it did in Whittlesey and we keep the bus. This is only consultation; they are not shutting the service down.”

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