Bus routes could be hit by cuts

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Key Lincolnshire bus routes could face the axe after the county council revealed it could cut funding for certain services.

The authority needs to save £170 million over the next four years, and leader Martin Hill (Con) has admitted some bus services will stop running.

A total of 169 routes across the county receive a subsidy from the council, including 21 CallConnect’ services which are fully funded by the authority.

Labour councillors have launched a campaign against the potential cuts, and a petition has been set up. The online version has almost 3,000 signatures.

Councillor for Deeping St James Phil Dilks (Lab) said: “The same Tories who said we didn’t need a properly-staffed library in the Deepings because we were only half an hour by public transport to Stamford or Spalding are now planning to pull the plug on the bus.

“It’s another massive Tory betrayal for local communities who need to be standing up and telling them this is a cut too far.”

But the council’s executive member for highways and transportation Richard Davies (Con) said: “In light of severe reductions to our government funding, we have to drastically reduce the amount of money we spend on all of our council services.”

In the Mercury area, the council-subsidise bus routes are as follows:

Market Deeping to Spalding; Pointon/Billingborough to Sleaford; Grantham to Stamford; Pinchbeck to Stamford; the Deepings to Stamford; Ryhall to Bourne via Essendine; Aslackby to Grantham; Billinborough to Rippingale; Grantham to South Witham; Folkingham to Boston; and Market Deeping to Spalding.

The council also funds CallConnect services in Stamford, Rutland, Bourne and Peterborough.

Search for Lincolnshire County Council at https://home.38degrees.org.uk/ to sign the petiiton.