HUNDREDS of people have signed petitions in a fight to stop a bus service linking two towns in the Staffordshire Moorlands from being withdrawn.
Bus operator D & G say Service 93 linking Leek, Brown Edge and Biddulph will be axed if it is no longer subsidised by Staffordshire County Council.
D & G network manager Chris Almond warned the service is earmarked from withdrawal from April 2018 as part of Staffordshire County Council’s review of local bus services.
He said: “The route is far from commercially viable, so if the subsidy is removed then the route will be withdrawn.”
County council members are expected to approve removal of the subsidy at a meeting tomorrow (Nov 15).
The county council pays pays out £125,000 a year to keep the service number 93 running.
Cheadle and Checkley county councillor Mark Deaville, cabinet member for transport, explained: “Every year the county council has to balance what it can spend on subsidising bus journeys against the need to fund statutory services, such as the record £300 million we are spending on care this year.
“More than 90 per cent of bus journeys in Staffordshire are made without any funding from the council.
“But when buses can’t be run profitably because too few people use them or not enough money is taken, it can cost taxpayers more than £10 every time a passenger steps on board.”
Biddulph town councillor John Jones said: “Not everyone has a car or can afford a taxi. We need to fight this to the death.”
- The Artisan Market returns to Biddulph High Street this Friday (Nov 17), between 9am and 3pm.