CIVIC chiefs have approved plans to cut a number of bus service around the Winchester district, making savings of more than £80,000.

The figure was revealed in a document signed off by Hampshire County Council’s executive member for environment and transport Cllr Rob Humby, who is also the deputy leader at Winchester City Council.

Cuts include only running buses on Mondays and Thursdays, instead of Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on the 6a and 63 services from Abbotts Barton and Owslebury to Winchester, running fewer buses during the day on the E1/E2 service between Eastleigh and Winchester, affecting residents using the Twyford service, and running the C41 on two days rather than three between Basingstoke and Alresford.

Changes to the 6a and 63 service are estimated to save the county’s finances more than £3,000, changes to the E1/E2 nearly £40,000 and the C41 £12,000.

St Bartholomew city councillor Rose Burns said the move was “not right”. She said: “I understand that our bus services need to be commercial and it’s a very problematic area with busses operating at a loss.

“Having said that, where you get a rural or suburban area where there are a lot of elderly people who don’t drive... if the bus service is cut to such an extent that it makes it impossible, it’s not right. To cut down on buses... seems incredibly short-shorted.”

Cllr Waine Lawton, chairman of Twyford Parish Council, expressed his concern at the decision. He said: “Any withdrawal of bus services is negative.

“Twyford being a village with a significant number of elderly, it does have an impact.

He also expressed fears that it could mean an increased in cars on the road.

City councillor for The Worthys Malcolm Prince added: “We have got to have a real commitment to buses and we have got to make them work with regularity.

“We must seek to think of places that are further afield and about them being served. Alresford needs its buses.”

Changes to the 67 service between Winchester and Petersfield will see changes set to save the council more than £21,000.

As previously reported, civic chiefs did, however, save the under-threat number 46 bus between Winchester and North Baddesley, used by more than 15,000 residents a year.

Winchester Bus Station Stagecoach bus. stock Winchester Bus Station Stagecoach bus. stock

Following the outcome of a public consultation which highlighted the importance of the service, county leaders decided to look at their plans again.

Cllr Rob Humby said: “With the growing pressures across public sector services, we have had to look at many services we provide to make sure that the limited resources we have are directed to where they are most needed. The budget used to support public transport has recently been reviewed using travel data as well as the results of a county wide consultation with the public.

“In the specific case of the number 46 , given that it provides 15,358 passenger journeys a year, I am satisfied this service is well used by the community and it is appropriate that the county council makes a contribution to ensure that this service continues to run.”

The authority confirmed that the annual cost to run the number 46 bus is £40,781 and said the cost will be met by Hampshire County Council’s £2 million annual bus subsidy budget.

Although the service has been saved the county council plans to stop the trips from North Baddesley at 10.03am and from Winchester at 3.10pm.