Bus routes to be cut under new Warwickshire County Council money saving scheme

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EVENING bus services will be decimated at the beginning of June when routes across town will be scrapped.

From June 12 Warwickshire County Council will be pulling the plug on almost half the money it dishes out to subsidise bus routes - meaning estates in Bilton, Hillmorton, Lawford and Dunchurch will be left with no evening or Flexibus services. Evening services include any between 6pm and 7.15pm.

Steve Bird, managing director of Stagecoach Midlands, explained: “The amount of money WCC is contributing to our services is falling from £3m to £1.6m, and this is going to have a significant impact on the services we cannot afford to pay for ourselves.

“We’re working hard to see if, for one day a week at least, we can run an evening service on some of the routes in Rugby, but as of yet this is undecided.”

He added: “This problem is not unique to Warwickshire. Later this year there will be further disruptions to Rugby residents when services funded by Northamptonshire County Council are withdrawn.”

Many village routes will also be hit, including those serving Brinklow, Church Lawford and Binley Woods

Cllr Alan Cockburn, portfolio holder for environment and economy, said money from central Government used to subsidise bus services was being reduced significantly.

“We just cannot continue to subsidise bus services to the same extent. We have managed to reinstate some funding so it will be possible to retain some services which could otherwise have been withdrawn, such as all Sunday services. “Officers are currently making substantial changes to the passenger transport network to ensure that the level of financially supported local bus services provided meets the needs of as many people as possible. “Discussions with bus operators are now well under way and it is expected that the new network will be put in place shortly.”