End of the line for Falmouth bus routes
FIVE bus routes are to be cut in Falmouth over the next six weeks, it is believed.
Bus drivers on some routes have been telling passengers about the imminent end of the services.
Cornwall and Falmouth councillor Candy Atherton was also told bus operator First Group that routes 88 and 41 will stop from the end of this month and that the number 67, 68 and 68A will stop running from the end of October.
Ms Atherton said: “I think it is appalling and I am sure that people will be very concerned particularly those that do not have access to a car. The town needs buses.”
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“The only people who may gain from this are the taxi drivers and at what cost. People are struggling as it is.”
She added that some people, such as the elderly and those who live by the seafront, depend entirely on these buses.
The West Briton is awaiting a response from First Group.
The cuts follow news that Western Greyhound’s services in Penwith could be withdrawn.
Cornwall Council said that 90 per cent of the bus network in Cornwall is provided by First and Western Greyhound.
A spokesman said it shared the concerns expressed First Group boss Mark Howarth over the future of bus services in Cornwall as a result of cuts in Government funding, adding: “The Council has already been forced to make savings of £170m over the past four years as a result of these cuts and is now facing having to make further savings of £196m by 2019.
“We are also facing increasing pressure on the concessionary fares budget which we are legally required to support.
“While we are doing our best to protect essential frontline services, it is impossible to make this level of savings without affecting some services.
“Maintaining good public transport links is very important in a rural area like Cornwall and we have been working with all the bus operators to look at how best to protect bus services from the impact of further cuts in Government funding.
“Over the past two months we have held detailed discussions with both companies to identify how savings could be made.
“We are continuing to discuss options with all the bus operators and will be inviting them to join with us in raising this issue with the Government.
Transport union RMT has pledged to link up with the local community to fight bus service cuts throughout the South West after First.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “These savage cuts to services on South West buses could well open the floodgates to an all-out attack which would decimate life-line services across whole communities as the bus companies wheel out a pack of excuses to justify cherry-picking the profitable routes.”