39 bus routes across Hertforshire are all under threat from the Conservative-run county council.
The Conservatives have forced through a flawed consultation on bus cuts on County supported routes, wanting to cut buses after 6.30pm every day and cut all routes on Sundays.
The County consultation on this is at https://consult.hertsdirect.org/bus-services/, but it provides no real options and also implies that some of these bus routes are subsidised to the cost of £9 a journey which is not true.
When this was debated by the Council the Tories said these blanket cuts would save £700,000. Only after questioning was it revealed that the cut was £887,000. They then said it only affected 200,000 passenger journeys. Now, again after questioning, this the true figure of over £809,000, a four-fold increase has been dug out. The highest subsidy of any of the routes is £4.19 not the £9 as claimed.
The Conservatives have already cut bus support by £800,000, just over 2 years ago. If these cuts go ahead that’s another £800,000, mounting to over a 36% cut in just three years. Yet they refuse to cut the press and publicity budget by this amount and gleefully spend over £5m on securing empty buildings they will not sell, and spend over £10m on trying to get a incinerator built in Hatfield – that money was wasted as its been rejected!
It seems cutting bus services for the less well off and those unable to drive due to health problems, thus forcing people to stay indoors at night and on a Sunday is an easy choice for them. That’s why Liberal Democrats have opposed these blanket cuts and tried to get this flawed consultation stopped – but we were outvoted. So now we have launched a county-wide petition that you can sign at http://signme.org.uk/985.
Please sign this petition and also say so no on the web consultation. If you are not a bus user it’s still important. Just think if everyone or even just half who used this buses diverted to a private car or taxi what the effect of 800,000 extra such trips would be on traffic at night and weekends!