County council transport boss to attend public ‘bus service cuts’ meeting in Broadstairs

Stagecoach Thanet Loop (stock image)

A public meeting to discuss proposed cuts to subsidised bus services in Thanet and across the county will be held in Broadstairs  on Thursday, August 30.

The meeting will be attended by Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Transport Mike Whiting following an invite from Labour county councillor Barry Lewis.

KCC is consulting on three alternative plans for rural public transport in the face of impending cuts to subsidised services. The services are those that don’t have enough passengers to make a commercial return but are considered necessary for those living in rural areas. Kent County Council has been funding the services but says there is not enough money in its budget to continue doing so.

Although consultation on funding cuts for Stagecoach services 39,42 and 56 in Thanet has been delayed until September questions over the threat to those routes are likely to be raised .

Changes are proposed for the 39: Sherwood Gardens loop, Dumpton and Nixon Avenue; 42: Windermere Avenue/Rydal Avenue, Nethercourt and the 56: St Peter’s Road/Vicarage Street, St Peter’s and Stone Road/Lanthorne Road/Knights Avenue, Broadstairs.

The 56 was under threat of being axed in September.

Following discussions with Stagecoach the services were expected to move from public subsidy to commercially-operated routes.

Stagecoach said the areas already have similar existing commercial services and could be served by those with some slight network changes.

The consultation delay on these services is to allow “further mitigation” from Stagecoach “to be fully developed and included in the consultation document.”

The meeting will take place on Thursday,August 30 at 2.30pm at the GAP Auditorium, Queen’s Road Broadstairs.

Cllr Lewis said: “I am delighted that the Cabinet member responsible for bus cuts will face bus users in Broadstairs so he can explain the reasons behind the scheme. I hope he can understand the strength of feeling about this issue.”

Cllr Lewis said he is paying the costs of the meeting out of his “15% county council allowance rise.”

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