Hertfordshire councillors to vote on £1 million bus cuts proposals

The group handed in a petition opposing the cuts last month.

The group handed in a petition opposing the cuts last month. - Credit: Archant

Campaigners opposing proposed cuts to bus services will be out in force today as Hertfordshire County Council votes on whether to go ahead with withdrawing £1 million in funding.

Councillors will discuss the outcome of a 12-week consultation on proposals at a highways committee meeting at County Hall which, if given the green light, would affected routes in Stevenage and North Herts,

A petition opposing the cuts has received more than 4,000 signatures and 7,000 people are calling for the proposals to be scrapped.

Terry Figg from Stevenage started campaign group 38 Degrees Hertfordshire to oppose the proposals.

He said: “The opposition to cutting these buses, which are a lifeline for so many different people, is impossible to ignore. With less than one per cent of responses to the council consultation showing support for the cuts, the council would be riding roughshod over thousands of people’s needs and wishes if they press ahead with scrapping these buses.”

Councillors have three options to vote on at the meeting, either proceed with the proposed cuts in their entirety, save services to hospitals but press ahead with other cuts or drop the plan for cuts completely.

Public transport campaigner Martin Abrams said: “The massive outcry against losing these bus services has hopefully persuaded the council that they need to think again. They should be developing a strategy for buses that supports the needs of workers, students and older people instead of purely focusing on cutting costs. Today Hertfordshire’s council leaders must listen to the will of the people and reject any cuts to vital bus services.”

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38 Degrees campaigner Elizabeth Baines said: “The opposition to these cuts has been overwhelming. Over 4,000 people have now signed a petition against the cuts on the 38 Degrees website. Local residents even helped to fund a ‘protest van’ which took a giant message against the cuts around the streets of Hertfordshire. It would be scandalous for the council to push ahead with these cuts knowing the devastating impact they would have on so many people’s lives in the area.”

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