Bus Users calls for rethink on cuts to Somerset bus services
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Bus Users UK, a non-profit organisation that champions the interests of bus and coach passengers, has submitted its response to Somerset County Council’s review of local bus services.
Passengers across the county were given a chance to have their say on proposed cuts to services and concessionary fares in a series of Your Bus Matters events run by Bus Users. Their comments and concerns have been included in the consultation response, along with details of the potential impact the proposed funding cuts could have on the people and communities of Somerset.
Buses make a valuable contribution to local economies and help people access essential services, work and education. Dawn Badminton-Capps, Bus Users’ Director for England, said: “Rather than cut funding to services we would like to see Somerset County Council find ways to protect services, recognising the huge benefits that buses bring to local communities, business and the environment.”
Bus Use in the South West of England is actually growing with 17 to 20 year olds and those above 60 the most likely to use the bus, and the most likely to be directly affected by the cuts. Passengers at the Your Bus Matters events were particularly concerned that community services and the Slinky Bus will not be able to fill the gap, especially in areas where cuts have already been made. Concerns were also raised over proposals to remove the discretionary element of the Concessionary Bus Pass.