As buses go, public asked: ‘What next?’

Scarborough Bus stop .Bus changes ahead.Picture Richard Ponter 134726a
Scarborough Bus stop .Bus changes ahead.Picture Richard Ponter 134726a
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In a week when “lifeline” bus services were hauled off the road due to enforced cuts, hard up North Yorkshire County Council has now asked the public how it can make further savings.

The authority, which has to shave over a third from its budget due to swingeing Westminster cuts, has now launched a public consultation to see what services people want to keep - and what they are happy to see go.

The last time around, bus services ranked near the bottom of the public’s needs, and councillors decided to slash £2million worth of bus subsidies in a hugely unpopular move.

And at the end of last week, the public felt the effect of those cuts for the first time, with timetables across the county reduced - and in some cases, services taken off the road completely.

Now as the county council launch a fresh spending consultation, it’s admitted more unpopular decisions are likely - and hinted that more services could be volunteer based if they are to be retained.

“The scale of cuts means the Council has to rethink what it is able to provide directly,” said council leader John Weighell.

“It is looking ahead to the end of the decade, to 2020, to ensure that it adapts.

“The last few years have seen an increase in collaboration with other organisations and volunteers to provide services differently, for example in libraries and in countryside services.”

“However, we do need to have a vision, values and objectives which embody this change.

“These must be clear to all of our employees and to the residents of North Yorkshire, as must our intentions for enabling people to take greater responsibility for supporting their communities.”

People are being asked for their views on what services they would like to see kept by Monday 30 June. They can be raised via an online consultation form, or by emailing ppp@northyorks.gov.uk