Derbyshire County Council has hit back against Speedwell’s campaign to save the 397 bus that we reported on yesterday, claiming that the alternative plans implied a greater cost saving than was actually the case. As part of Speedwell’s alternative proposal, service 393 would be withdrawn with two services rerouted to fill the gaps. Derbyshire says that the annual cost of the 393 is only around a third of the cost of the 397, so that if the council was to meet its proposed level of savings then other subsidised bus services in the area would be put at risk.
The County Council reiterated its viewpoint that the proposed withdrawals are focused on services where either: passenger numbers are very low; subsidy per passenger is high; or reasonable alternatives are available. The 397 seems to fall into the latter category. Derbyshire is running its own consultation on the proposed withdrawals that will run until the end of January 2011 – so make your views known there as well.