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Speaking ahead of Friday's meeting of the West Yorkshire
Integrated Transport Authority at which members will discuss the
potential impact of budget cuts, Metro Chairman Cllr Chris Greaves
"At Friday's meeting we will see examples of the huge potential
impact that sweeping budget cuts could have on our transport
"We have started to get used to senior Government figures in
London talking in terms of 40% budget reductions but the report at
Friday's meeting really brings home what they could mean for people
in West Yorkshire."
The ITA report explains that although Metro receives funding
through a number of specific grants from the Government, the most
significant part of its income comes through a transport levy from
the five West Yorkshire district councils.
It also reminds ITA members that around 50% of Metro's spending
is in mandatory areas over which it has no control, such as
concessions for people aged over-60, which mean that in real terms,
cuts in areas of discretionary spending have an even greater
"It is alarming when you see, written in black and white, that
the cuts we might be asked to make could be the equivalent of
wiping out the Hebden Bridger minibus network, the Bradford, Leeds
and Wakefield FreeCity buses and MetroLocal services connecting
Kirklees communities with nearby shops and services, or closing
smaller bus stations like those in Cleckheaton or Pontefract."
"Or put another way they could mean the reductions in the
AccessBus service or withdrawal of as much as 25% of the essential
tendered, early-morning, late-night and Sunday bus services that
Metro currently subsidises because the bus companies don't consider
them profitable enough. We may have to re-consider concessionary
fares for young people.
"These are not projects which have not yet been started, but
services which people rely upon every day to get to work, shops and
vital services such as doctors' surgeries or hospital
"I am sure my colleagues on the ITA, and national and local
politicians across the county, will know that while these services
go un-remarked when they are running, as soon as they are
threatened, we are inundated at surgeries and in our post bags by
those people for whom they are a lifeline.
"We fully realise that cuts will have to be made in all areas of
the public sector including Metro, and I am pleased to see in the
same report, the high levels of efficiency that the PTE is already
delivering and the measures it is taking to achieve further
"We will however need to look very closely at the impact of on
the individuals and communities where real cuts to services
Link to the Report 'Spending Cuts - Implications for
Metro (pdf : 32k)