Hertfordshire, County Of OpportunityHertfordshire’s Lib Dem Leader challenges Conservatives to cancel bus cuts programme as just 30 residents out of 4,548 back the plans.

Hertfordshire Liberal Democrat Leader, Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst (Central Watford and Oxhey), has challenged the Conservative run county council that is proposing bus cuts to 58 routes to cancel the plans after almost no one supported them.

Just 30 residents out of 4548 that responded to the official council consultation entitled “Have your say on a more efficient bus service for Hertfordshire” supported the idea.

In addition several thousands of petition signatures have already been presented to the county council opposing the cuts. It is estimated some 10,000 residents have now signed petitions across the county being collected by bus user groups, residents’ associations and the Liberal Democrats that will go to a meeting to consider the cuts on 4 November.

In an open letter to the Conservative member for Highways who proposed the cuts, the Liberal Democrat Leader has asked him to drop the cuts programme totally and review services with other partners such as the NHS Trust and bus operators to see what savings might be achieved. If revised changes are possible thee would be a  fresh consultation.

Cllr Giles-Medhurst also wants a review other routes whereby working with commercial operators the council might increase passenger trips and ensure the service goes to the areas that passengers want to go to and at the times that suits them.

Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst said: “The cuts figure – an 18% reduction in one year on top of cuts made a few back – is unacceptable and will unduly
affect the young, less able and less well off in our society. Some areas will have no public transport at night or on a Sunday: this will be in effect a curfew for them and must not be allowed to happen.

“I have challenged Terry Douris to stand up and be counted and say these will not go ahead. Why should this area be cut when the Conservatives still spend over £3m a year on press and publicity at County Hall?  Local councils across Hertfordshire have hit out at this and NHS trusts have condemned the plans due to the dire effect on patients and visitors.
“Terry must stand up and be counted and say they will not happen.”