Northampton

Northamptonshire council asks bus users about £2m cut bid

Bus passengers in Northamptonshire are being asked their views on how to best to provide public transport at a time of budget cuts.

Northamptonshire County Council wants to save about £2m from its £3m-a-year budget for bus subsidies.

The council is looking at a number of ideas including asking bus firms to change partially subsidised routes so they make more money.

People have until 27 May to comment on the proposals.

Other proposals include continuing to pay for some fixed routes which require only a small subsidy and working with community transport operators to allow them to transport paying passengers.

'Overhaul of system'

The new transport systems would be introduced in September.

Heather Smith, county council cabinet member for highways, said: "There's no doubt that the traditional way of providing public transport was becoming inefficient and an overhaul of the system was badly needed.

"When you look at the figures and the facts about how much some of these services were costing the tax payer it is clear that in the current climate the current situation just could not go on.

"What we are proposing here is significantly reducing this spend and I think we have come up with better, more cost effective ways of providing transport where there is a need."

The council has written to borough, district, parish and town councils along with groups representing bus users and the elderly and disabled.

A number of public consultation events are also being planned.

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