Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 14°C

Search

Suffolk: Rural bus services in county suffer huge cut in subsidies – Labour

08:00 18 April 2014

Rural bus subsidies are cut

Rural bus subsidies are cut

Subsidies for rural bus services in Suffolk saw some of the biggest cuts in the country over the last four years according to new figures compiled by the Labour Party.

The amount spent supporting uneconomic bus services in the county was cut by half between 2010/11 and 2013/14. Only Northamptonshire with a 55% cut saw a more dramatic reduction in support for its rural buses.

Freedom of information requests by shadow local government minister Hilary Benn found that bus services across shire counties and unitary authorities had seen their grants cut by an average of 23% and 24% respectively.

Shire counties have cut their subsidies by 23% from an average of £5.62million in 2010/11 to £4.34m in 2013/14, while unitary authorities have undergone cuts of 24% from an average of £1.2m in 2010/11 to £0.91m in 2013/14.

In Suffolk the major cuts came in the budget of 2011, but the county council tried to ensure that no communities were left totally cut off from public transport.

Graham Newman has become cabinet member for transport since the cuts were introduced, but said the authority had no alternative but to cut subsidies.

He said “It’s all well and good the Labour party complaining about the reduction in bus subsidies. The sad fact is that Labour left this country bankrupt when they were voted out of power in 2010.

“The Coalition have had to address that issue, and local authority budgets have traditionally been the first call for successive Governments of all political colours when savings have been required.

“But here in Suffolk, we have largely maintained our supported passenger transport network since 2011, and in fact some services have flourished since that time, after becoming commercially operated.

“We have seen the return of some evening and Sunday services, particularly in the Bury St Edmunds area.

“SCC’s passenger transport team have worked hard with operators to produce profitable routes, and where that has not been possible, have introduced services like Demand Responsive Transport and have further supported Community Transport operators.”

Opposition transport spokeswoman Sanda Gage said: “While Suffolk County Council continues to focus on cutting funding rather than subsiding rural bus services, we will continue to read of bus routes being dropped by operators, communities without a regular bus service, and young people unable to get to work placements or training.

“I have recently asked that Graham Newman looks to extend the Endeavour Card age range from 16-19 to 16-24 years and offer it automatically to all apprentices, funded by the council.”

3 comments

  • If it was up to Labour we`d all be travelling by donkey!

    Report this comment

    Supernova6

    Friday, April 18, 2014

  • This is a party political broad cast by the Labour Party , on news over 3 years old ,

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Friday, April 18, 2014

  • Graham, so much for taking responsibility for your own department! Of course you weren't to blame for the economy, you were in charge of the Education authority at the time...how is Suffolk and it's schools doing now? Do you take responsibility for them instead?

    Report this comment

    Conan67

    Friday, April 18, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

12-20 Upper Orwell Street, which could be demolished and regenerated if plans by the East of England Co-op go through

A derelict building in Upper Orwell Street which has been empty for decades could be set for demolition if new plans for the area are approved.

Stoke Bridge Telephone Box, Ipswich.

A campaign has been launched by the Teapot Project in Ipswich to save the Stoke Bridge telephone box and turn it into a hub providing for vulnerable people.

GB Paralympic swimmer, Ryan Crouch, is pictured at Crown Pools in Ipswich.

The Olympics may have finished but the Games are not over yet – next month it is the turn of the Paralympics to take over Brazil.

The EACHFest event held for service users of East Anglia's Children's Hospices and their families

Young people with life-threatening conditions were treated to their very own festival by East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) recently.

East Anglian Air Ambulance

A man was airlifted to hospital after a crash in Stowmarket yesterday.

Actor and writer Mark Gatiss visited the Riverside Theatre, Woodbridge, in August as part of its Riverside Nights programme

A cinema has revealed plans to install a second screen – 100 years after it opened in a Suffolk town.

Dan Jarmin with girlfriend Hayley Baker-Covey

The family of a well-loved 26-year-old have paid tribute to his “larger than life” character after he died in a car crash in Australia.

Abellio Greater Anglia

Rail services between Ipswich and Lowestoft via Saxmundham have been delayed because of a bridge fault.

Nico Covatti leads Josh Bates and Jason Garrity during heat fifteen of the Ipswich Witches v Sheffield Tigers (League Cup) meeting at Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich, UK on 23 April 2016. Picture: Steve Waller   www.stephenwaller.com

Ipswich has been named the top sporting town or city in East Anglia in a new report.

Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

A Suffolk MP has called for serious debate into tax reform to protect an increasingly under-strain NHS.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24