Review begins into Lincolnshire bus services with a quarter facing the axe

A quarter of subsidised Lincolnshire bus routes are likely to be axed say county councillors, as proposals to cut services by £2.2 million are reviewed.

Lincolnshire County Council has started a review of subsidised bus services in a bid to save over £2 million from its transportation budget.

The authority currently supports 148 fixed route bus services in Lincolnshire which costs £2.8m each year.

Where services are deemed no longer affordable, officers will work closely with bus operators to minimise the impact on local communities.

Councillors are promising 75% of Lincolnshire bus routes will not be affected. Discussions are still ongoing with operators to determine which of the subsides routes will be scrapped.

The bus routes in Lincolnshire which currently receive a subsidy are:

Councillor Richard Davies, executive councillor for highways and transportation, said: “In light of severe reductions to our government funding, we have to drastically reduce the amount of money we spend on all of our council services.

“We currently expect we need to decrease our annual spending by £170 million over the next four years – leaving us with just 20% of the funding we received four years ago.

“We have been lobbying at the highest level for these cuts to be reconsidered and expect a final settlement from the government this week.

“As it stands, we are proposing to reduce the subsidy for public transport by £2.2m. Subsidising bus routes that commercial operators can’t viably run is not something we are required to do, however in the past we have chosen to provide some support.

“75% of bus routes in Lincolnshire will not be affected and we are still committed to supporting our award winning CallConnect service, which means that everyone will still have access to public transport.

“Until we have had discussions with local bus operators, it is not possible to say which and how many bus services may be affected.”

A decision on bus subsidies will be announce at the next full council meeting on February 19.

A campaign set up against the proposed cuts to the county’s bus services gained 5,500 signatures before being handed in to the county council last week.

Cuts totalling £170 million over the next four years, and £42 million for the next year alone, have been outlined as the county council reviews its contributions.