Transport cuts

TRANSPORT chiefs will review the results of a consultation exercise about how a £300,000 bus subsidy cut will affect communities.

Stockton Borough Council says it is working with partners to provide suitable transport arrangements after the cut is made at the end of March.

Billingham Town Council says the loss of subsidy will mean there will be no direct bus link to central Billingham from some areas including Cowpen Bewley.

Up to now, the subsidy had been provided by the council to bus companies Compass Royston, Leven Valley, Arriva, Stagecarriage and Stagecoach for some rural, weekend and non-commercial routes.

But the borough council says it has been left with no choice.

Councillor Mike Smith, Stockton council’s cabinet member for regeneration and transport, said: “Unfortunately the challenging financial times we are facing have left us with no option but to remove our £300,000 subsidy.

“However, we know how important it is for our residents to be able to access transport options which enable them to travel around the Borough and further afield.

“That’s why we are working with our partners from the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector as well as town and parish councils, to look for alternative ways to ensure transport arrangements are in place to suit our communities’ needs.”

A questionnaire was delivered to residents who live in areas set to be affected by the changes including Wolviston.

The survey asked people where they travel to, at what time of day, how often and what method of travel they use.

The deadline for responses was Monday.

The council says it will get together soon with voluntary, community and social enterprise groups and local councils to review the results and begin to develop specific transport plans for the affected areas.