‘Slow death of rural bus services’: Labour call for end to cuts after funding is slashed by 60%

Labour’s Spokesperson for Highways, Transport and Rural Issues on Suffolk County Council, Cllr Jack Owen, has demanded that cuts to bus subsidies are halted after it was revealed that bus subsidy has been slashed by nearly 60% in the last ten years.

Figures obtained by the Labour Group on Suffolk County Council has shown that successive Conservative-administrations have slashed the budget for bus subsidy from £4.31 million in 2008/09 to £1.75 million in 2018/19, a reduction of 59%.

Labour say that these cuts are causing the ‘slow death’ of bus services in the county with rural areas particularly affected.

Cllr Owen commented; “These numbers shown the brutal extent of Tory cuts to public transport in Suffolk.

“The sad reality is that these cuts will fall hardest on the poorest families in rural areas where unaffordable and unreliable public transport links make it hard to find and hold onto full-time employment.

“It also limits educational opportunities for young people and further isolates our elderly population.

“The human, social and economic cost of these cuts is immense.”

Continuing, Cllr Owen said; “the current model is clearly not working; these relentless funding cuts are causing the slow death of bus services in our county with fares going up and services going down.

“Other councils have already recognised this and have put an end to their bus subsidy cuts.

“It’s time that Suffolk County Council do the same, protect our bus services, make them sustainable for the future and putting our residents first.”

A petition has been launched urging Suffolk County Council to end cuts to bus subsidy – sign it here: https://www.change.org/p/suffolk-county-council-end-the-cuts-to-bus-subsidies

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