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  1. ITV Report

'Lifeline' bus routes for elderly threatened by funding cuts

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Damon Green

"Lifeline" bus services subsidised by local authorities could be under threat due to funding cuts.

The warning comes as the Local Government Association (LGA) highlighted a council funding gap which is expected to exceed £5 billion by 2020.

Despite the services being the only mode of transport for vulnerable residents, bus journeys in England have fallen by 6% in the last four years.

During this time, the operating cost per passenger has gone up by six pence a journey, adding £3 billion to the cost of subsidising the services.

Joan Cringle, 96, who lives in rural Elswick, Lancashire, told ITV News that her local bus route is the only transport she can get to do her shopping.

"All my children are grandparents, my son has got MS," she said.

"It's my lifeline...and I can't buy any shopping unless I get on a bus."

Speaking to ITV News, Lancashire County Council said they are investing in bus services but urged residents to use the vehicles.

Councillor Keith Iddon said: "Wherever you want to go, just think about jumping on a bus because you will save the buses.

"If they're not used and people give over using them, they can't operate."