Norfolk rural bus services to be cut - list of services affected
Sixteen rural bus services and King's Lynn ferry are to lose their subsidy from Norfolk County Council as the authority looks to save half a million pounds.
The cutbacks will mean fewer services on those routes, with journeys in the evenings and on Sundays among the trips which will be axed.
The county council had put the routes out for consultation, but has not altered its original plans as a result and is set to agree the cuts when it sets its budget next month.
The council says it needs to make the cuts because of pressure on council spending, especially with a �4.5m gap between what the government gives the authority to cover the cost of concessionary bus travel and the actual cost of it.
With the council looking to save �75m over the next two years, �500,000 will be cut from the rural transport budget in 2012/13 and �200,000 the following year.
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Graham Plant, cabinet member for planning and transportation, said: 'We know that rural buses can be a lifeline to the communities they serve, which is why earlier this year we scaled back the savings from �1m to �700,000 over two years.
'We need to find �500,000 of this next year and the fact that only 17 services are directly affected across the whole county reflects a lot of hard work and the excellent support and cooperation we have received from bus operators. Any cut in service is bound to be bad news for some people, but we have done our best to choose routes and times where the journeys being lost are not critical.'
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He said 143 financially supported services were investigated, with the vast majority unaffected and the affected services were chosen after looking at factors such as alternative public transport, passenger numbers, social needs, car ownership level and the importance of routes for work, education and shopping.
The reductions include the removal of the �25,000 annual county council subsidy to the King's Lynn Ferry and Mr Plant said: 'To keep subsidising the ferry could only be at the expense of rural buses serving communities where people rely upon public transport to get to work, education and the shops. It is also very hard to justify spending �25,000 a year on the ferry when we also support a bus service that provides a fully accessible alternative journey into King's Lynn. We hope the ferry will be able to continue.'
Gail and Steve Kingston, who run the ferry, previously pledged they would continue offering the service.
If the budget is agreed at full council on February 13, the changes will come into effect from Thursday, April 12.
Which bus services are for the chop?
Simonds 1,2 and 118. Diss-Long Stratton-Norwich. No evening or Sunday service from Diss to Norwich. Fewer Sunday and evening (after 7pm) journeys from Long Stratton to Norwich.
Sanders 5. Holt-Cromer-Mundesley-North Walsham. Fewer Sunday journeys from October to May.
Sanders 5A. North Walsham-Coltishall-Spixworth-Norwich. Fewer Sunday journeys.
First 6,7. Belton and Bradwell-Great Yarmouth. Fewer evening (after 7pm) journeys.
Sanders 9, X8. Holt-Melton Constable-Fakenham-King's Lynn. No winter Sunday services.
First 10B and Anglian 10B. Norwich-Lakenham-Tuckswood-Mulbarton. Fewer Sunday and evening (after 8pm) journeys.
First 14B. Norwich-Hethersett-Wymondham. Fewer Sunday and evening (after 8pm) journeys.
Sanders 44. Sheringham-Cromer-Aylsham-Norwich. Fewer Sunday and evening (after 7pm) journeys.
Anglian 121. Eaton Village-Norwich. No Sunday service.
Anglian 581. Beccles-Burgh St Peter-Great Yarmouth. Wheatacre, Burgh St Peter and Aldeby to be served by alternative pre-booked transport.
Anglian 587. Norwich-Stoke Holy Cross-Poringland. Fewer Sunday services.
Anglian 588. Halesworth-Bungay-Norwich. Fewer Sunday and evening (after 7.30pm) journeys.
Norfolk Green. King's Lynn town services. Fewer late night (after 9pm) services.
Coasthopper. Hunstanton-Wells-Sheringham-Cromer. Fewer services from October to March.
King's Lynn Ferry. West Lynn-King's Lynn. Fewer crossings likely.