Bus services axed in funding cuts

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A BUS service has been axed as a cash-strapped council tries to save money.

Bus company Kimes has had to cancel its weekly Stamford to Lincoln bus service after Lincolnshire County Council pulled its funding.

The county council has to save £125m over the next four years and has slashed its bus services budget to £4m.

The bus company,, which is based in Sleaford Road, Folkingham, had received £6,211 from the council to run the Saturday service.

The route, which finishes on April 2, started off from Stamford but took in Ryhall, Essendine, Bourne, Rippingale and Folkingham, along with villages north of Sleaford.

Traffic director John Kime said the company was sad to axe the Saturday service, due to the loss of the subsidy coupled with the increasing cost of fuel.

He said: “It was heavily subsided and the county council has ended their desire to subsidise it.

“We are always sad when we have to cancel any service.

“Some weeks it paid and some weeks it didn’t.”

The company has also had to alter its Grantham to Stamford route after the subsidy was reduced.

Swayfield no longer has a timetabled bus service and relies on the CallConnect service, where customers call up and book a bus.The revised time table will save the council £14,896 a year.

Head of Transportation Chris Briggs said: “Whilst these cutbacks are sadly unavoidable, we know how important bus services are to our residents, especially in rural areas. Consequently, we’ve worked very hard to retain as many as we can and strived to ensure they affect as few people as possible.

“This meant focusing the main cuts on services which aren’t well-used or those running at off-peak times. We also needed to reduce the frequency of some. However, we’ve tried to protect buses on commuter routes where there is direct economic impact.

“In the case of these Stamford routes, the number of people actually catching the bus regularly in Swayfield was very low, therefore in these difficult times we could no longer support the service travelling to this area. For the same reason, we have also reduced the frequency of the service to Lincoln.

“However, we are looking at alternatives and do provide an alternative option in the form of the nationally-recognised, on-demand service named CallConnect. Operating six days a week, this was extended to include Swayfield in recent years and we encourage residents to give it a try.”

To book call 0845 234 3344.