Cheshire East Council has responded to the borough-wide consultation on subsidised bus services with a set of proposals, which retain day-time buses for 99 per cent of residents.
The proposals, which are to be discussed at the council’s environment and regeneration scrutiny committee on Monday, would save more than £1m from the council’s budget. Cheshire East received more than 3,900 replies to the consultation and has improved its plans for services as a result.
The planned changes maintain weekday and Saturday services, though the council proposes to no longer support buses during evenings and on Sundays, as these are some of the least used of its subsidised services.
The plans would also phase any changes to ‘little bus’, to ensure there is a safety net for anyone who cannot get access to another local bus service.
Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for finance and communities, said: “Changing the way services operate is always a very complex issue. The council has weighed up the needs of all service users after our in-depth consultation.
“We have tried to strike the best possible balance between making savings and protecting vital services for residents.”
The views of the scrutiny committee are a vital part of the overall decision-making process. Cabinet is due to consider a set of recommendations on the bus review at its meeting on Tuesday, November 7.
Any changes to services would not take place before April 2018. After any changes, the council’s proposals would mean that the authority would still be investing more than £2m per year in subsidised bus services.