A BUSINESS leader is urging transport chiefs to re-think plans to scrap funding for vital bus services.
Annette Keyworth, chairman of Upton Tourism and Trade Association, believes Worcestershire County Council is looking for a “quick-fix win” and that it has not fully thought through the consequences of axing a £3 million taxpayers’ subsidy that helps support 88 routes. Every single bus route serving Upton is under threat due to the proposals.
While Mrs Keyworth is concerned that trade will dry up if people can no longer get into town, she feels scrapping buses would also have a devastating social impact on many of the people who use them.
“For a lot of the elderly people that use them, coming into town on the buses is their life,” she said. “It is the impact on them that really upsets me.
“They will basically be taking their social lives away and I think that is appalling.”
Proposals to cut the bus subsidy have been made as the council explores ways to save £98 million by 2017.
People can have their say on the proposals until a public consultation ends on January 17 and John Smith, cabinet member for highways, is urging as many as possible to have a say.
“The financial challenge the council is currently faced with means there have to be tough decisions made on how taxpayers’ money is spent,”
he said. Responses can be made in libraries or online at worcestershire.gov.uk/ busservicereview.