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Battle to save buses still on despite council giving brief reprieve
Updated 3:21pm Friday 7th February 2014 in News
PERSHORE'S mayor has given just two cheers to the announcement that some of the county's bus routes maybe saved after it was revealed the full £3 million subsidy would not be withdrawn.
Councillor Charles Tucker called the extension to the proposed cuts a "stay of execution" but added it would give the local councils a chance to work with Worcestershire County Council on a way to maintain the quality of the services and make the necessary budget cuts.
His comments follow the county council's budget meeting on Thursday when it was announced that instead of the entire £3 million budget being withdrawn a provisional amount of £1.1 million - which could increase - has been found meaning some of the 97 county services at threat can now be saved.
But Cllr Tucker said campaigners against the cuts must continue their fight as the battle was not over yet.
"I give it two cheers, not three," he said. "It is good they have taken account of what's been said and they have agreed to halt the intended cuts they were table about but what's not clear is what's going to happen now.
"Are they just putting the cuts of until the fuss drops down but are they really seriously going to save the services and keep them going?
"We have really got to keep the battle up and the pressure on the county council to engage with the town council about how we can restructure the services to maintain the quality but also make costs cuts.
"It's a stay of execution."
During the meeting some of the reasons to keep the bus routes were highlighted by campaigners concerned about the Pershore bus services.
Luke Bessant, 17, a student from Norton who travels to Pershore High School on the buses, said: "Taking away buses would limit the choice of school for many students like myself."
Councillor John Smith, cabinet member for highways and transportation and Wychavon District Councillor, added: "We're aware of the need for people to get to work, hospitals, schools, and we'll do all we can to meet the need for that.
"Each route needs to be looked at, and every response."
A report is due out in May or June about what routes have been saved.