11:49AM, Monday 26 June 2017
Town hall chiefs have shelled out £840,000 to keep bus services running as normal in the Royal Borough.
The council confirmed this morning it had reached an agreement with Courtney Buses and Bear Buses to maintain several subsidised bus routes.
The deals reached with the companies mean the 4/4A, 5/5A, 8, 16/16A, 238/239 and 305 have been saved for another five years.
Cllr Hari Sharma (Con, Furze Platt), the Royal Borough's bus champion, said: “We promised residents that the bus services they rely on would continue and I’m delighted that we are able to announce that these subsidised services will continue with Courtney Buses and Bear Buses.
“We are committed to investing in sustainable public transport and together with our partners we will continue to keep our residents on the move for years to come.”
The Advertiser reported in March that the routes were facing the axe due to declining passenger numbers.
But the new deal means the ‘commercially unviable’ services will continue to run with the same frequency as previously, albeit with amended timetables.
Bill Courtney, managing director of Courtney Buses, said: “We are very pleased that the Royal Borough agreed to increase the subsidy for public transport and ensure the continued financial viability of the services and are delighted that our own bid has been accepted.
“Our customers have been very supportive and we are happy that they will have continuity in their bus service provider.
“We will continue to work closely with the council to make bus travel more attractive for all users.”
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