An eight week public consultation on how best to spend Staffordshire County Council’s £1.3m annual bus subsidy has resulted in the option which safeguards most journeys.
Approving the plan, the County Council’s Cabinet also agreed to work with bus operators, district and borough councils, parish councils and local community groups to explore options for supporting some of the journeys which will no longer be funded by the authority from April 2018.
More than 96 per cent of all bus journeys currently made in Staffordshire will still be able to be made.
Mark Deaville, Cabinet Member for Commercial, said:
While the vast majority of bus journeys in Staffordshire are made without any subsidy from the county council, some journeys are still costing taxpayers more than £10 every time someone gets on board and this is certainly not the best use of the public purse.
Like all councils we do have to live within our means and when we need to spend a record £300m on care this year alone, it is important that we work with the budget we have available.
The option we have chosen means the most trips can still be made at the lowest average cost to taxpayers.
It is the case that 96 per cent of all bus journeys will still be able to be made. In cases where journeys will no longer be subsidised, such as the Dial-A-Ride, we want to work with local bus operators, local councils and communities to see which are the most important to them and look at helping them explore other options for funding.”
Any changes to bus timetables, due to the decision made today, will be implemented by bus operators from April 2018 and details of any changes will be finalised and published once known.