Herefordshire Council is consulting on proposed changes to the county’s bus services to save £1million.
There are approximately 3.1million bus journeys made each year throughout Herefordshire, 39 per cent of which are supported by a council subsidy, which costs in the region of £1.6million. The council also spends an additional £1.4million on reimbursing bus operators for concessionary travel, which covers free bus travel for older and disabled people.
Councillor Graham Powell, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “We need to save £1million from our bus services over the next two financial years. To help achieve this we are working closely with bus operators to explore how we can make savings through more efficient services and journey planning including integrating certain contracts such as school transport services within the wider bus network.
“We will also consider whether or not some supported services might be able to operate commercially without subsidy, whilst also reducing the frequency of certain services. It must be stressed however, that we will retain a limited rural or market day service as a feeder service which will link to the core bus network.”
He concluded: “However, it is unlikely that we will save £1million purely through efficiencies; therefore we will also have to consider withdrawing the subsidy for some bus services altogether.”
The consultation is available from Thursday 6 March to Monday 21 April and is available on the council’s bus review page.