Bus subsidies in the firing line

November 29, 2017

KCC’s annual £6.4 million subsidy for loss-making bus services across the county is under grave threat. The County Council is now putting forward proposals for how to prioritise the intended cuts. Within its Medium Term Financial Plan there is a planned reduction of £4 million for 2018-2020, so a 70 per cent reduction in the current subsidy.

Based on the current list of subsidised routes, local ones that are touted for cutting include the Monday to Saturday number 11 Lydd-Ashford-William Harvey Hospital service; Monday-to-Friday 533 Brookland to Rye; Monday-to-Saturday 18 Canterbury to Hythe service; and Monday-to-Friday 125 Ashford to Aldington service.

Across the county, from the extensive list (three per cent of total bus mileage, comprising 3.8 million journeys in 2016/17) it is clear that the proposed cuts would mean further rural isolation and would make it harder for residents to access key services.

Our KCC member for Hythe West, Martin Whybrow, says: “In case anyone was in any doubt, the relentless cuts from central government are clearly hitting front-line services in Kent, often with a disproportional impact on the elderly and vulnerable. Children’s centres are again in the firing line, include the one in Hythe and two in Folkestone; infant feeding services and services for disabled people are under threat; and now we have the proposals to slash bus subsidies.

“In KCC’s own words, “the services supported by KCC carry a large proportion of elderly and disabled people as well as those who do not have alternative access to key services”. The clue is in the name: “Socially Necessary Bus Services”.  I do not think that KCC has done enough to explore all options and am disappointed that it is only now taking serious steps to encourage new community service operators that might fill some of the gaps. That process should have started two or three years ago, KCC should not have not waited until we are at the cliff edge.

Read More »

More from News

News

Operation Stack lorry park victory!

Shepway Green Party is delighted at today’s news that the Operation Stack lorry park, planned for 250 acres of farmland near the village of Stanford, has been scrapped. The Department of Transport (DfT) has said it will not contest the imminent judicial review. This is a massive u-turn and a great victory for everyone...

Pressure grows on KCC to divest

If you care about climate change and believe in the urgent need to reduce our reliance on carbon then please join us to increase the pressure on Kent County Council (KCC) and the Kent Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuels. Shepway Green Party is wholly supportive of Fossil Free UK’s current campaign to...

Residents urged to respond to KCC Budget consultation

Residents across the county are urged to respond to Kent County Council’s budget consultation. With yet more sweeping cuts to councils’ Revenue Support Grants, the likelihood is that KCC will have some extremely difficult decisions to make about which front-line services will suffer. More job losses are on the way and the consultation also...

Breastfeeding friendly campaign kicks off

At Shepway Green Party’s AGM it was agreed to organise a breastfeeding friendly campaign. We are looking for volunteers to approach local cafés etc to ask them to display breast feeding friendly stickers and leaflets. It will only take an hour or two and you can visit the cafés when it is convenient for...

Shepway Green Party urges KCC rethink on breastfeeding

Shepway Green Party is urging people to tell KCC to rethink proposals to cut services to support breastfeeding across the county. The council has recently gone out with a consultation, that runs to 2nd September, about a radical change to the way breastfeeding is supported in Kent. It would move the focus onto already...

Tories vote themselves a 15% hike in allowances

At yesterday’s full council meeting, the Tory group brought and passed a motion to award themselves a colossal 15% increase in allowances. In doing so, they ignored the recommended modest increase of 1.5% from the Independent Member Remuneration Panel. Our KCC member, Martin Whybrow (right), who will be donating his increase to charity via...


Archive