COUNCIL chiefs have revealed that a bus route will now become two-hourly as part of more than £500,000 of cuts to subsidised travel.
Leicestershire County Council said that under the changes, to come into force in the next 12 months, the number seven from Ashby to Nuneaton via Measham and Atherstone will become two-hourly between Measham and Atherstone.
A community bus partnership will be set up to boost patronage by working with parish councils, shops, pubs and schools to promote the route.
The decision came after the authority said it could no longer afford to prop up the largely rural services it has been funding in the past to the tune of £1.4 million a year.
Cabinet member for finance Byron Rhodes said: “The saving works out at £560,000. It was clear we were never going to be able to save £1 million and still have a satisfactory service.”
He thanked the 655 members of the public and organisations who took part in a consultation on the future of the services.
The council, which needs to save £110 million by 2018 to manage cuts to its Government funding, originally intended to axe the subsidy by £1 million but relented after looking at savings options.
In many cases hourly services will become two-hourly, with dozens of routes across the county impacted.
Peter Osborne, cabinet member for transport, said: “We have kept talking to the public to ensure we find a solution that will benefit the greatest number.
“We were faced with the difficult decision of how best to continue providing a service to as many people as we can, but with less money.
“We carefully considered the responses to the consultation and the views of the scrutiny commission before we made our decisions.”