Thousands of St Albans residents could be left stranded if plans to take an axe to bus funding go ahead

Picture from stock

Picture from stock

First published in News by

Thousands of St Albans residents could be left stranded if plans to take an axe to bus funding in Hertfordshire go ahead.

Dozens of routes are under threat as county politicians look to cut £700,000 from the subsidies that support bus services in the county.

In St Albans eight routes could be affected, including the UNO bus which runs from the New Green estate to Welwyn Garden City.

Labour councillors warned the cuts would hit the elderly and vulnerable people without cars the hardest.

Councillor Roma Mills said she has been approached by concerned residents who fear they may not be able to get into the city. 

She said: "If the cuts go ahead some people will not be able to leave their home which would be awful, especially for the elderly some of whom may not be able to get around.

"Also if people go out in the evening they will be faced with getting a taxi home, which may not be affordable.

"I do appreciate the some of the buses are not used that often but the people that do use them have no alternatives. 

"In addition, the city is already congested and as a community we should be encouraging people to use public transport and this goes against that. It is most unfortunate."

The move will see funding withdrawn from 52 of Hertfordshire’s 119 routes services which run after 6.30pm, Monday to Saturday and services which run on Sundays.

The proposal has been driven by the reduction in central government grant which means the county council has to find savings of £147m over the next four years - on top of the £149m cuts which have already been made since 2010.

Stephen Giles-Medhurst, the county’s Liberal Democrat group leader, said that funding for bus services have already been significantly reduced.

He said: "There will be a lot of people who probably don’t have the financial means or private transport to get around. 

"They will be the ones most seriously affected by this and they will effectively be isolated."

Councillor Giles-Medhurst said that the "blanket size fits all" method should be scrapped and instead the council should look at route by route savings.

The county county’s Conservative cabinet member for highways, Terry Douris, defended the plans and said he’d rather refer to the possible decrease in funding as "savings" rather than "cuts".

Councillor Douris said the plans will not affect the buses where there is a significant demand, but rather the "savings" will reduce services where there are only one or two people on the bus.

To comment on the council’s consultation, which runs until October 8, visit www.hertsdirect.org/busconsult.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:48pm Fri 1 Aug 14

gertcha says...

I think the blanket withdrawing of funds is a terrible idea, there may be services in other parts of Herts that are never used whereas I think the routes in St Albans are reasonably used, they aren't packed but people use them and rely on them.

The council need to be a bit savvy and so do UNO, we have the most expensive taxies I've ever known in St Albans the buses should be a viable option for people, we have so much going on in the centre then people should have incentives to use them at night, like night leisure fares. Also the intergration needs to be better, the late evening train from London both slow and fast arrive within a couple of mins of each other at the same mins past the hour so where are the buses? The ones to Mile House and New Green left 2 mins before the train gets in. If a bus was imminent then people would get it rather than the huge taxi queue, running them later as well, even by a hour would be good

People are still coming home at 7pm from work, people with plusbus, weekly, monthly tics are going to stop buying them if they don't have services after 6.30 and this'll have a knock on affect to the daytime operators

It's a silly idea
I think the blanket withdrawing of funds is a terrible idea, there may be services in other parts of Herts that are never used whereas I think the routes in St Albans are reasonably used, they aren't packed but people use them and rely on them. The council need to be a bit savvy and so do UNO, we have the most expensive taxies I've ever known in St Albans the buses should be a viable option for people, we have so much going on in the centre then people should have incentives to use them at night, like night leisure fares. Also the intergration needs to be better, the late evening train from London both slow and fast arrive within a couple of mins of each other at the same mins past the hour so where are the buses? The ones to Mile House and New Green left 2 mins before the train gets in. If a bus was imminent then people would get it rather than the huge taxi queue, running them later as well, even by a hour would be good People are still coming home at 7pm from work, people with plusbus, weekly, monthly tics are going to stop buying them if they don't have services after 6.30 and this'll have a knock on affect to the daytime operators It's a silly idea gertcha
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree