More bus routes to be axed

MORE bus services linking villages and towns in Comet country are to be axed in June. Bedfordshire County Council has announced a range of cuts after a review of budgets. One of the casualties is the Potton Circular linking the town with Sutton, Dunton, E

MORE bus services linking villages and towns in Comet country are to be axed in June.

Bedfordshire County Council has announced a range of cuts after a review of budgets.

One of the casualties is the Potton Circular linking the town with Sutton, Dunton, Eyeworth, Wrestlingworth and Everton.

The service was the idea of Potton Town Council and was launched last autumn with a twice-daily service with buses and drivers supplied by the county council.

But the service was cut to one a day at Christmas and the town council says there has not been a passenger for two weeks.

Val Moles, clerk to the town council, said: "Even though the service is due to stop in June I believe it will be pulled sooner rather than later.

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"We haven't had a passenger for two weeks so the service has come to the end of the line.

"We are very grateful to the county council for their support. It is such a pity we didn't get more public support."

Other services being withdrawn are the E8 run by Herberts Travel linking Ickwell, Northill, Hatch and Biggleswade and the Stagecoach 201 that goes from Bedford to Henlow Camp via Haynes, Shefford, Shillington and Meppershall.

The county council said it had completed a review of all subsidised bus services and it showed that some routes are hardly used at all, while other services need greater funding as they are popular with passengers but buses run too infrequently.

Councillor Tom Wootton, cabinet member for transport, said: "We need to ensure we get the best value for money for the taxpayer when we support bus routes.

"The reality is that not enough people are using some buses and the cost of subsidising bus travel is rising mainly due to increased fuel costs.

"No one wants to withdraw bus services. But we cannot continue subsiding buses that are driving around with little or no passengers.

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