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Time running out to have your say on future of subsidised bus routes in Lichfield and Burntwood

Time is running out for people to have their say on the future of subsidised bus services in Lichfield and Burntwood.

Staffordshire County Council is looking at how best to spend the money it currently uses to ensure services are provided in areas where routes are not commercially viable.

Subsidised services across the region can cost as much as £10 per passenger per trip, according to the council.

Four options have now been drawn up:

  • Maintain the greatest number of journeys currently subsidised by the county council – and the lowest subsidy per passenger trip at £1.60. There would be no Dial-A-Ride services.
  • Maintain fewer bus journeys, but maintain the South Staffordshire and Staffordshire Moorlands Connect. These Dial-A-Ride services would be subsidised at £8.20 per passenger trip.
  • Protect even fewer supported local bus services, but keeps all four existing Dial-A-Ride services, except Border Car, at an £8.80 subsidy per trip.
  • Provide a county-wide network of dial-a-ride services at an average cost of £10 per passenger journey. No other bus journeys will be subsidised.

The consultation closes on Sunday (September 17), and Cllr Mark Deaville Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member responsible for transport, said: “Although most bus journeys in Staffordshire are made without any subsidy from the county council, the eight per cent we do fund can cost taxpayers more than £10 a passenger journey.

“With the need to protect statutory council services and with less money to go around, it is more important than ever that we make the best use of public money and that’s why we have put together four options all of which could be possible with the £1.3million subsidy pot now available.

“This is taxpayers money so whether people use the bus or not, we want as many people as possible to have their say about how this budget should be spent.”

People can given their views online. A final option will be agreed later in the year, with any changes introduced in April 2018.

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