In a report due to be discussed by Bridgend Council’s Cabinet next week, it’s revealed that BCBC is considering cutting all current bus subsidies in next year’s budget in order to save up to £180,000 (pdf).
The drastic policy is said to be at least partly a result of commercial bus operators maintaining some services along routes which have already been impacted by the most recent round of bus subsidy cuts. To maintain these routes, bus operators reduced the number and running hours of some services.
Three services had their subsidy retained for an additional year because of extra money raised via a Council Tax rise in 2018-19.
Here’s a list of the services which could lose their subsidy in the next round of cuts:
Officers warned the Cabinet that there may also be implications from the Economy & Infrastructure Secretary, Ken Skates’s (Lab, Clwyd South) decision that from April 2019, any application for Welsh Government bus grant funding will need to be match-funded by councils. This could result in cuts to support to Community Transport depending on how much of the bus grant funding BCBC will be able to secure.
Officers also warn (p6) that:
“Some bus shelters may also be left redundant in areas of Bridgend where local bus services will no longer operate. A demolitions budget may be required. This cost would only be identified following the subsidy removal and understanding the resultant level of service removal by operators.”
If the Cabinet agrees, a public consultation will start in due course.