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Bus Cuts Vote

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:28am 25th January 2012. (Updated at 11:46am 25th January 2012)

Cornwall's threatened bus routes are saved.

90 were facing the axe after the government slashed funding by more than two million pounds.

Now officials have agreed to keep paying for them.

These people in Bude say services are vital to keep communities connected:

"It's very hard for the people in rural areas to get around so cutting them would be detrimental. There's no way they should cut them. Loads of older people rely on them and we're a very remote community. It's a rural area where people are very dependent and with the price of petrol, there's a lot of us that don't want to drive too much".

The recommendation has come from Highways boss at the council, Graeme Hicks:

"I am delighted to be able to make this recommendation to Cabinet which I hope will put minds at rest over the issue. This is a situation that was not of the Council's making, but it is our duty to resolve and this recommendation will help protect these important community links.

"This funding will come from savings and efficiencies made this year and in future years. This has put us in a much stronger position than other local authorities to be able to protect vital local services such as buses.

"Taking into account the rural nature of Cornwall, reducing the supported bus network would have a serious impact on the people we are elected to serve and support".

Councillor Hicks explained, "Our concessionary fare reimbursement of 73.5% of the average adult fare was far higher than most local authorities. We have taken the decision to reduce this figure to 50% - which is still higher than the level recommended by the Department for Transport.

"The tender process revealed that our 2012/13 budget for the supported bus network of £3.2m would require a significant reduction in the bus network. Bus services are a lifeline for many communities and therefore I have a responsibility to local people to find the additional funding. I am now recommending to Cabinet on Wednesday that we continue to provide funding for the supported bus network and I am hopeful that they will agree".

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