Bus service cut is hypocritical’ move

PUBLISHED: 16:56 15 November 2007 | UPDATED: 15:19 12 May 2010

A DECISION to cut town bus services in Royston has been branded as hypocritical . And members of Royston Town Council s highways and general purposes committee say the move is short-sighted and will cause hardship. The comments came after Herts County

A DECISION to cut town bus services in Royston has been branded as "hypocritical".

And members of Royston Town Council's highways and general purposes committee say the move is "short-sighted" and will cause hardship.

The comments came after Herts County Council decided last week to axe the No 17 town service because it no longer received a subsidy payment from North Herts District Council.

The district council decided to withdraw its £130,000 in a cost-cutting exercise during talks on its budget.

But Cllr Robert Inwood told the committee on Monday evening: "The whole thing stinks."

He said it was "hypocritical" that the district council was attempting to be seen as a "green council" but making cuts that would increase private vehicles on the road.

Committee chairman Cllr Mike Harrison said pressure should be applied on the district council to reconsider the cut: especially to the No 17 town service which costs about £50,000-a-year.

And Cllr Lindsay Davidson said: "It looks like a done deal on economics."

Royston's county councillor Doug Drake told the committee he was "disappointed" with the cutting of the service.

He said it was ironic that the cut comes when there has been an increase in passengers using the No 17 service. About 1,200 passengers use the service each week.

Cllr Drake was angered last week when the county council announced plans to axe the service.

He described it as "a negative move" and questioned whether there had actually been "a serious conversation" between the county council and district council over cuts.

The county council in a statement last week said the service was being axed in January "in response to the withdrawal of funding from North Herts District Council."

The district council's Royston area committee decided at a meeting in September that there should be talks over an alternative to still providing a bus service.

One suggestion was to combine both the No 17 service and No 16 service - which will have changes to its timetable under the new scheme - and to look for alternative funding to prevent the cut.

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