There is just a week left to have your say on proposed changes to 17 bus services across the county.
Since the consultation started in March, over 300 responses have been received but we want to make sure that everyone who wants to has their say.
Kent County Council currently spends £6.4 million on subsidising 150 contracts across the county.
It has already saved more than £1 million from its bus subsidy budget by renegotiating better contracts with bus companies – providing better value for Kent’s taxpayers – without any noticeable impact on passengers.
The council – which needs to make £80.8 million of savings this year – is now looking to make further savings of £500,000 but plans to do so with a minimum impact on bus users by working closely with bus operators.
Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport Matthew Balfour said: “Savings made to date have focussed on how we work and on reducing spending across services provided by Kent County Council. We have reduced these budgets as much as we can in many instances.
“The budget for the support of public bus services is part way through a two-year programme, which is seeking to reduce expenditure by £2 million from £7.6 million to £5.6 million.
“We have already made over £1 million of savings by working with bus operators to re-plan routes and through a greater use of community transport operators.
“We have made these changes without any noticeable impact on bus passengers. We have recently identified a further £250,000 worth of savings but we still need to reduce our spending by a further £500,000 in the next financial year.
“We continue to work with bus operators to explore different options for service provision and look for new sources of funding, but it is likely that some services and journeys at certain times and on certain days will change or have to be reduced.”
The consultation finishes on May 15.
People are being asked to respond by visiting www.kent.gov.uk/busreview and completing the online consultation questionnaire.
The consultation document and questionnaire are also available in Easy Read and Word formats on the website (above) or on request by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 03000 421553; Text Relay: 18001 03000 421553 (this number goes to an answering machine, which is monitored during office hours).
For any other formats people can also use the details above.