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Lib Dems call for bus cuts to be shelved following oil price fall

March 22, 2015 10:22 PM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems

BusLiberal Democrats on Surrey County Council have proposed that the Conservative run Council shelves its planned cuts to bus services following the recent significant fall in oil prices.

Liberal Democrat County Councillor Will Forster (South Woking) said: " The County Council is currently reviewing bus services across Surrey and is seeking to cut spending on buses and bus passes by around £2 million. The recent public consultation on the Surrey Transport Review received 6,800 comments, which just goes to show how important bus services are for Surrey residents.

"At the County Council meeting on 17 March I proposed the following motion for debate:

In light of the recent significant fall in oil prices, Council calls on the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet to ensure the Transport Review and negotiations with bus operating companies are conducted to preserve bus services throughout Surrey.'"

Will Forster

Cllr Forster added: "Since the Council announced its transport review, there has been significant fall in the oil price across the world and the cost of fuel is one of the biggest single costs in running a bus service. As a result, the Council should drop its planned cuts to bus services and change its approach to reviewing bus services. The fall in the oil price massively strengthens the hand of the Council to get a good deal out of the bus companies to both preserve our bus services and at a reduced cost to the council taxpayer."

The Conservative majority rejected the motion and amended it to remove the requirement that existing bus services should be preserved.

Cllr Forster concluded, "Our roads are already congested as it is, the Conservative administration at County Hall should be looking at ways to encourage public transport not reduce what little we have further. Residents clearly feel passionately about not losing their bus services, it is a shame the Conservatives running the County Council do not feel the same way."