15 November 2017
Last week, the council Cabinet voted to withdraw most bus subsidies in Cheshire East. In an act of pure political short-term opportunism, they are ending funding for all Sunday services and most evening routes. For the sake of saving £1million, they will cut lifelines for thousands in Macclesfield, the surrounding villages and the rest of the borough.
As one Macclesfield resident says in this week’s Express: “Local bus services are vital for people to travel to work, to go shopping, to go to Leighton Hospital, to visit loved ones and more. This council hasn’t realised the huge devastating impact they would have on communities if they were to go through.”
Even a Conservative councillor (Andrew Kolker, Dane Valley) is quoted by the BBC, warning that the cuts could mean there is "literally no access to food" in some parts of the borough.
The council held a “consultation”, but their only concession to nearly 4000 residents telling them they rely on “out of hours” buses has been to keep a handful of evening routes going. Services have already been cut to the bone, with no Sunday buses to villages like Pott Shrigley and Bosley and no midweek evening buses even in a town like Bollington.
Cutting public transport in order to keep council tax rises down is a false economy. Those with no access to a car may have to pay taxi fares to get to work or the shops or to visit friends and family. Forcing people to rely even more on private transport can only increase polluting emissions - which we now know Cheshire East has been under-reporting - as well as adding to the road maintenance bill. The leisure economy could be hit as it becomes harder to access the Peak District and other countryside areas.
No more bus cuts!
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