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Fears Over Future of Community Buses
8:02am 11th May 2014
8:02am 11th May 2014
There are fresh fears over rural bus routes in Cornwall.
West Penwith Community Bus Association at Land's End has lost funding for two services and gained one.
But campaigners are worried future links could suffer if the Council makes more cuts.
Stuart Cullimore speaks for Cornwall Anti-Cuts Alliance and says it hits regular routes too: "Particularly out in a remote area like Land's End and places like that you're going to take the life blood out of the community and make people more reliant on cars.
"People who don't own cars, either because they're elderly or because they don't have the money are going to be really hampered. The same goes for job seekers who are required to go for interviews. If the bus services aren't there they can't do that."
David Edwards, Cornwall Council Passenger Transport Group Leader, said: "Community Buses are an essential part of public transport and Cornwall is fortunate to have 15 community bus groups.
"The role of the Community Bus used to be for organised social outings but more recently, Community Bus Groups have become more business-like and now tender for transport services with Cornwall Council. We will only financially support a Community Bus Group if it can evidence that the travel it offers complements public transport.
"Community Bus Groups in Cornwall now operate school and social care transport services and in some instances local bus services; however, in tendering for this kind of work, Community Bus Groups must compete with commercial companies on the open market and can lose as well as gain work. We currently spend over £500k annually supporting Community Bus and Volunteer Car Schemes."
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