A petition calling for Suffolk County Council to reverse its decision to cut funding for community transport services has been signed by 5,500 people.
The signatures were gathered by the County Council Labour group, which believes the proposals will severely affect existing passengers and disability groups, particularly in Bury.
“For places like Bury St Edmunds, the impact of these cuts will be felt most acutely in the villages and hamlets surrounding the town, and it will be noticed when a community bus route stops running or a dial‐a‐ride service can no longer reach you,” said Cllr Sandra Gage, petition organiser and Labour Group spokesperson for Transport.
A move to switch community bus provision from a grant aided service to a commercial tendered contract, cutting funding by 50 per cent over 4 years, was made by the council’s conservative cabinet in October.
Since then nearly 400 people from Bury and 100 others in nearby villages have signed the petition, which has now been handed to the county council ahead of a full council meeting on March 17.
“The undeniable fact is, with the drastic 50 per cent cut and the sale of the council’s fleet of minibuses – which are loaned to smaller providers at a reasonable price – community transport services will dwindle and disappear,” said Mrs Gage.
A spokesman for Suffolk County Council confirmed the petition had been received and would be discussed at full council.