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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Bid to save Millom bus services begins

THE fight to save rural bus services threatened by monumental £80m Cumbria County Council cuts has begun.

Millom Town Council is encouraging commuters using six services in Millom and Haverigg, which are subsidised by Cumbria County Council, to add their names to a petition.

Proposals to withdraw all subsidies to rural bus services – which could save £1.9m per year – were announced as part of a consultation on ways to slash £24m from the county council’s budget in the next financial year.

Millom mayor Brian Crawford warned that many retired residents in the town no longer had the resources to run their own cars and were completely reliant on public transport.

He said: “The county council would like us all to ‘live full and active lives, to live independently and to play an active part in our local communities’ yet this proposal will see already isolated communities more isolated and will increase the gap between rich and poor.

“Millom is 25 miles from Barrow and 30 miles from Whitehaven and there are no Sunday trains. This proposal could effectively remove all bus services from Millom.”

The services subsidised by the county council include four number seven buses between Barrow, Millom and Haverigg, the X6 Sunday service from Millom to Whitehaven, and the M1 – M3 service between Millom and Haverigg.

A council spokesman said: “If people feel so strongly about saving their buses, as well as responding to the petition in Millom they should also consider responding to our budget consultation.

“However, I would be interested in how many of the people who say that the buses should be saved are actually using the buses.

“These are by very definition the buses that are not used enough and need to be subsidised by the county council.

“The council is having to find another £80m of savings over the next three years on top of the £88m we have already made, and at the moment our priority is protecting the most vulnerable people in our society, including young children and the elderly. Difficult decisions have to be made.”

Copies of the petition are available from shops and post offices across Millom from this week. The full budget consultation document is available on the county council’s website or by visiting your nearest library or local links centre.

Have your say

I use the bus to visit family and friends and when i will be lost if the bus service is stopped

Posted by Joseph rodgers on 4 December 2013 at 18:03

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