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County Council consultation begins on reducing community transport budget

Author: 
John Freeman

Lancashire County Council is consulting on proposals to reduce the budget which supports community transport services.

The council's cabinet agreed in January to reduce the community transport budget to contribute to savings needed to meet a forecasted funding gap of £144m in 2021/22.

Community transport in Lancashire is provided for people who are not able to use mainstream public transport and includes Dial-a-Ride, group transport, and community car schemes.

The budget helps to support services run by a number of operators as well as Dial-a-Ride services operated by the county council's Travelcare team.

County Councillor Geoff Driver CBE, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: "We're committed to providing the best services we can, however like many other local authorities our financial position remains extremely challenging, with a forecasted funding gap of over £144m in 2021/22.

"This means we have to make some difficult decisions to balance the books and, as well as making services as efficient as possible, having to find savings in almost every area of the council's work.

"Community transport provides an important service for people who can't access other public transport, and we want to understand as much as we can about the possible impact of reducing our level of support before making any decisions.

"We're holding an eight-week consultation, and I'm very grateful for people taking the time to let us know how they use these services, and how they may be affected."

The council is proposing to save £175,000 over two years from the community transport budget.

• The consultation will run from until Sunday 10th June. You can respond to it at www.lancashire.gov.uk/haveyoursay or by completing a paper copy which will be available from community transport drivers

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