Save Leicestershire buses

21 Feb 2023

At tomorrow's County Council budget meeting the opposition Liberal Democrat group are seeking to save threatened bus services.

Proposals from the ruling Conservative group at the County Council could see up to 26 subsidised bus services in the County being axed.

Proposing the amendment to the budget Lib Dem Finance spokesman Cllr Simon Galton said "£1 million has been identified in the draft budget and is available to offset some of the cuts being proposed. The Liberal Democrat Group believe this could and should be used now to protect bus services and fund measures to tackle speeding in communities.

"These bus routes provide an essential transport link for communities and we want to protect vital bus services by not subjecting them to a review."

Leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition on the County Council Michael Mullaney said "At a time of a cost of living crisis we should not be removing local bus services which give people an alternative to driving. At a time when we are supposed to be battling climate change we should be protecting local public transport not axing it.

"Many people in rural areas rely on bus services. We should be protecting these bus services not scrapping them. Liberal Democrats believe people should have the choice to access public transport.

"The public want to see bus services maintained. There has been a huge response to the campaign to save the 159 Hinckley to Coalville bus service for example. Well over a 1,000 people have signed the petition to save this bus service that serves many local villages as well as Hinckley and Coalville.

Michael Mullaney and Joyce Crooks campaigning to save local bus services

"The Conservative County Council must listen and support this fully costed amendment which will help protect local public transport in Leicestershire."

A Hinckley County Councillor has renewed calls for a safe road crossing to be installed near a Hinckley School.

Lib Dem Councillor for Hinckley De Montfort Michael Mullaney has campaigned with local parents, residents and fellow Hinckley Councillors David Bill and Stuart Bray to get a safe crossing near St Peter’s School on London Road, Hinckley.

This follows news that Leicestershire County Council have again decided against putting a crossing there.

In a written submission to the County Council’s Highways and Transport Scrutiny Committee Michael Mullaney set out why a crossing was still needed there

“A huge number of residents in the area I represent on the County Council and the area my two fellow Hinckley County Councillors David Bill and Stuart Bray represent support a safe crossing at St Peter’s School on London Road in Hinckley. 8,850 residents signed a petition supporting the campaign.

“There are safety concerns, there have been a number of near misses involving pupils and parents going to the school. Although not recorded it is believed that there was an accident leading to a fatality some years ago along this part of London Road when a pedestrian was knocked over.

“Whilst I appreciate the extra road safety measures that are proposed for London Road near St Peter’s School I am extremely disappointed that the request for a safe road crossing has not been supported in the report.

“There is widespread support for it and Cllrs Bill, Bray and myself identified funding for putting a crossing in at the site through the Members Highway Fund, a fund which was developed with the apparent intention of supporting Highways causes that were important in Councillor’s local areas.

“Whilst it’s welcome that a crossing person has been recruited for St Peter’s School there is always the risk that the person may step down from the job and it may be difficult to find a new person (as it took some years to recruit a crossing person there, with no school crossing patrol between 2017 and 2022 despite attempts to recruit to the post).  A safe pedestrian crossing at the site however would be a permanent safety measure that would benefit pupils and parents and residents more generally crossing the road there.

“Whilst I welcome the fact there will be some safety improvements at the site I and many residents believe there still needs to be a safe permanent crossing at St Peter’s School. I therefore urge the County Council to rethink and agree to installing a crossing near St Peter’s School”

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