Labour councillors in Lincolnshire have launched a campaign against “damaging” potential cuts to local bus services in the county.
County councillor Sarah Dodds has handed out petitions in local shops and has set up a Facebook page called ‘Save Our Buses’, which invites the public to join the campaign “to protect Lincolnshire’s bus services from savage cuts and to ensure residents stay connected to their friends, families, health and education.”
An electronic petition is also available on the ‘38 Degrees’ website, and people who support the campaign are being urged to sign it before the budget decisions are made on February 19.
A statement released by the Lincolnshire Labour Group said: “The Conservatives who control Lincolnshire County Council plan on slashing support for buses, which threatens the viability of up to 168 services which are currently a lifeline to many people”, adding that the potential cuts could damage the county’s economic development, hit the lowest paid and those seeking work, leave thousands of vulnerable people isolated, and increase traffic pollution on already congested roads.
Coun Dodds (Louth North) said: “Thousands of elderly and vulnerable people would be isolated and at greater risk if they lose their lifeline bus connection. Shops and businesses in towns and villages would also suffer loss of income if buses are lost.”
Coun Rob Parker (Lincoln West) added: “Many people rely on buses to get to work, to shops, to hospitals. National research by the ‘Campaign for Better Transport’ shows that for every £1 invested in public transport puts £3 into the local economy.
In the south of the county, Coun Phil Dilks (Deeping St James) said: “The same Tories who said we didn’t need a properly staffed library in the Deepings because we were only half an hour by public transport to Stamford or Spalding are now planning to pull the plug on the bus. It’s another massive Tory betrayal for local communities who need to be standing up and telling them this is a cut too far.”
• What do you think of the potential cuts to Lincolnshire’s bus services? Leave your comments below.