Bus Users UK is warning that extensive cuts to local bus services being proposed by Dorset County Council will be hugely damaging to people and communities across the region.
During a consultation with passengers last year, Bus Users highlighted the legal requirement of all councils to provide socially necessary services under the 1985 Transport Act. At the time, the cuts proposed by Dorset County Council threatened to leave vulnerable people in particular isolated and without access to essential services, work and education.
Despite these warnings, the Council is pushing ahead with plans to make £1m in savings over 2017/18 from the transport budget, resulting in cuts to services.
Dawn Badminton-Capps, Director of Bus Users England, said: “We made it clear to Dorset County Council during last year’s consultation that cutting essential bus services in order to save money is a false economy.
“Isolating people from employment and training opportunities, vital services, shops, even from seeing friends and family, creates a greater burden on social and healthcare budgets. While Dorset County Council clearly needs to make savings, cutting vital bus services will create more problems than it solves.”
Bus Users is calling on the Council to work with passenger groups to look at alternative solutions to the funding issues.