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Timetable Changes for Herts Buses As Subsidies Cut
More details have been released about which bus services will be affected by a cut in council subsidies in Hertfordshire.
The County Council says: "Most buses in Hertfordshire are run commercially by bus companies however Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) subsidises a small amount of services (about 11%) to fill gaps on services that aren't commercially viable due to low passenger numbers.
After a thorough public consultation, followed by lengthy discussions, County Councillors recently agreed to a reduction in this subsidy. This will affect around 2% of passenger journeys, the vast majority of services are commercially viable and will not be affected.
Hertfordshire County Council is facing an unprecedented financial situation. Since 2010, we have made £170m of savings from our annual budget with relatively little impact on the services we provide. We will continue to seek out ways of saving money, but given the financial challenges we face, this will only go so far. We estimate that a further £67m of savings will need to be found by 2017/18. The way the subsidy has been reduced for bus services means that the council is able to maintain essential day time links, particularly to the rural areas but no longer support evening or Sunday services that could not be run commercially."
Derrick Ashley, Cabinet Member for Transport, said:
"Our officers have been in discussion with commercial bus operators to minimise the impact on passengers. I am happy to say that some are stepping in to cover parts of some 15 services which would otherwise have been withdrawn on a commercial basis, safeguarding many of the passenger journeys that were at risk. I would like to thank bus operators for their support during this process.
These changes are enabling Hertfordshire County Council to save £1.471m from the bus budget which is vital when we have such large savings to make in all areas. Hertfordshire County Council is committed to finding savings through efficiencies, working with partners and being innovative where possible providing value for money for taxpayers. Hertfordshire taxpayers will continue to fund a substantial subsidy to ensure essential day time links are maintained particularly in the rural areas.
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