16 October 2017

​Changes to the way that Northamptonshire County Council delivers its transport and highways service form part of the proposed budget savings to be discussed at Cabinet this week.

These include:

  • The removal of all money paid to subsidise public transport in the county
  • A reduction in the winter gritting service
  • Savings within the highways maintenance budget as well as travel choices and road safety services

All changes would start in the next financial year (2018-2019) and after this initial consultation further cabinet approval may be required where any policy change is needed.

Financial challenge

Cllr Ian Morris, county council cabinet member for transport, highways and environment, said: “We understand that these proposals would have a big impact on the public and are changes in policy that we are bringing forward with a heavy heart.

“However the financial situation in which the county finds itself in is so severe, we are having to make proposals that we really don’t want to make.

“As has been widely reported we have made representations to government under the Fairer Funding campaign and believe that we need more money from central funds if we are to provide the standard of services in the county that the people of Northamptonshire really deserve.”

Removal of bus subsidies

Saving £1.053million in 2018/19; £212k 2019/20

This would be a removal of all money paid to support bus routes which are not commercially viable, predominately in rural areas. This also includes the money which is paid to the Call Connect and County Connect demand–responsive services, which were established several years ago.

The initial consultation is to see whether the county council’s bus strategy under the Local Transport Plan should be amended to allow the change to take place.

Reduction in Winter Service

Saving £475k in 2018/19

This would see a reduction in the percentage of the road network that is gritted from its current level of approximately 43% to about 32%, while continuing to treat the ‘A’ roads that the county council has responsibility for.

Changes may also include charging parishes for the filling of road-side grit bins and reviewing the winter policy timescales.

Highways Maintenance

Saving £1.06million in 2018/19

Many of the changes would be introduced for one year only. Proposals include a reduction in road-marking maintenance, weed killing treatment, targeted traffic signal maintenance and gully cleansing.

Proposals also include a reduction in campaigns to promote alternative modes of travel and road safety education.

The Parish enhancements gang service would also be stopped.

More savings would be found in reducing costs on depot accommodation and maintenance.

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