Councillor David Williams, leader of the Green Group on the County Council, is challenging County plans to cut funding to bus services by over £6million.
“People in many rural communities have learned to rely on bus services. As they get older, and are no longer able to drive, or afford to drive in some cases, buses are critical for them to do essential things like shopping and similarly vital things like visiting friends and keeping up exercise. A cut of £6 million is contemplated by the County Council. This is the same Conservative County Council that is spending millions on road widening schemes, redesigning roundabouts and plotting to close and re-open Park and Ride sites.
“This proposed cut marks a massive shift away from public transport to more private car usage. The County Council supports a variety of bus services that might not be viable otherwise. Reductions in the Dial-a-Ride service seem likely. Nine out of ten bus services in the County do not require support, but some do for the good reason that they serve the interests of communities that will be diminished by their absence. More cuts to the Dial-a-Ride service will leave many disabled people prisoners in their own homes.
“Once again, Oxfordshire Green Party questions the scale of the tax base and limited revenues available to the public sector at the present time. Austerity is a choice, not a necessity and the County Council is in danger of failing to fulfil key functions as it continues to carry out Government cuts.”