An eight week public consultation on how best to spend Staffordshire County Council’s £1.3m annual bus subsidy has resulted in the option which safeguards most journeys.
The County Council’s Cabinet has today also agreed to work with bus operators, district and borough councils, parish councils and local community groups to explore options for supporting some of the journeys which will no longer be funded by the authority from April 2018.
While the vast majority of bus journeys in Staffordshire are currently made without any subsidy from the County Council, some journeys are still costing taxpayers more than £10 every time someone gets on board. As the County Council needs to spend a record £300m on care this year alone, we need to make sure that every penny of taxpayers’ money is working its hardest. The option chosen means that most trips can still be made at the lowest average cost to taxpayers.
More than 96 per cent of all bus journeys currently made in Staffordshire will still be able to be made. In cases where journeys will no longer be subsidised, such as the Dial-A-Ride, we want to work with local bus operators, local councils and communities to see which are the most important to them and look at helping them explore other options for funding.
Further details of the approved proposal can be found at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/busreview. This details only journeys which will continue to be subsidised by the county council.
Any changes to bus timetables will be implemented by bus operators from April 2018. The County Council is not able to confirm changes to specific routes which will no longer be subsidised at this stage. Details of any changes will be finalised and published by bus operators once known.