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Council's Consultation On Subsidised Bus Services Ends Soon

Bus passengers in Poole have until 14 February to give their views on the local subsidised bus services.

Borough of Poole has been consulting on proposals to withdraw funding from some subsidised bus services in the borough to reduce the size of its bus subsidy budget.

The majority of bus routes in Poole are operated without the need for financial subsidy. However, services with fewer passengers such as many of those that operate in the evenings, at the weekend or away from the busy roads, require financial support to be viable.

Borough of Poole spent more than £800,000 subsidising bus services last year. The bus subsidy is one of the areas to be investigated for potential savings, as the council strives to find savings of approximately £22.8M over the next four years.

The council is hoping to improve the efficiency of some of the services by combining routes or reducing their frequency rather than losing entire services altogether. A list of proposals has been put together, in consultation with Wilts & Dorset, that could generate potential savings of up to £100,000 per annum.

John McVey, Passenger Transport and Accessibility Manager, Borough of Poole, said: "So far we have received well over 200 responses to the consultation via the council’s website and in writing. In addition, bus passengers have been giving their views to surveyors travelling on the affected services. There is still time for people to give their comments on these proposals and we would encourage everyone to take part."

Councillor Xena Dion, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for a Prosperous and Sustainable Poole, Borough of Poole, said: "We understand how important the bus service is for many of our residents and any decision that affects this service will not be taken lightly.

"Unfortunately it is no longer possible for us to provide all the services that we would like. With ever increasing pressures on our budget, it is becoming more and more difficult to avoid services being affected."

People can find out details of how the services may be affected and respond to the consultation at boroughofpoole.com by 14 February. Alternatively written comments may be sent to the Civic Centre, Poole, BH15 2RU.

Any changes to the local subsidised bus service will not be implemented until after 1 April 2014.