FEARS for isolated pensioners and young workers were sparked by
a looming bus service review.
The amount Flintshire Council spends on buses will be cut from £1.703 million to £1.526 million in 2013-14.
Councillors expressed their concern for those who rely on public transport ahead of a review of subsidised bus services.
“For many elderly people the bus service is a lifeline,” said Cllr Paul Shotton at a meeting of the environment overview and scrutiny committee.
“It allows access to residents to carry out their shopping and social interaction.
“This review needs to be of the widest consultation possible.
“I understand a commercial review is following on from this subsidised bus review so there’s going to be some very hard decisions to make.”
Carl Longland, the council’s director of environment, assured councillors that concessionary travel would not be affected by the changes which will come into affect from April 1.
Cllr Carolyn Thomas spoke of her concern for 18 to 25-year-olds. “There is low employment for these people so it’s getting them into work.
“There are many opportunities in the Deeside strip, it’s making sure we can get people there.”
Cllr Gary Butler said there were 17,000 jobs at the Deeside Enterprise Zone and not a single commercial bus service, meaning the subsidised journeys were vital.
Services the council pays towards are socially necessary in rural parts of the county or early mornings, evenings and on Sundays and bank holidays.
A draft policy has been developed and if approved by cabinet will be used as the basis of the review.
A rural transport project officer will be appointed on a 12 month basis to assist in identifying the transport needs of people living in rural communities and develop strategies to assist people accessing work, training and other opportunities.
A report will be submitted to cabinet in March and a review of subsidised services is likely to take five weeks to complete.