Committee protects majority of daytime and evening services in decision on bus route savings
Highland Council’s Community Services Committee met on Wednesday 7th December to consider what level of support should be approved for the future provision of public bus services to operate from 24th April 2017. Detail on specific services cannot be provided until contracts are confirmed with the transport providers. This is likely to be concluded by the end of January 2017.
Members agreed that the majority of the several daytime and evening services will be protected. Whilst many routes will operate broadly as at present, the difficult budget position being faced by Highland Council will necessitate some service level reduction and some service cessation. A number of routes were recommended for reduced or withdrawn service due to very low levels of use or an alternative option being available. The details will be publicised once some further work has been carried out.
Chair of the Community Services Committee, Cllr Allan Henderson said: “On 18 December 2014, the Council agreed to a savings target over four years of £2.246 million on the £15 million budget for bus and home to school transport. The committee members have carefully considered the impacts of any change to services particularly in rural areas and weighed these up with costs, level of demand and alternative options available in making decisions about where to make the savings.
Further savings may be possible by exploring a number of options such as fare increases and community transport participation and the potential for other means of delivering transport services.”