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The Cabinet of Bridgend County Borough Council has taken the difficult decision of removing a £148,000 subsidy paid to privately-owned public transport operators.

The decision follows the results of a recent public consultation exercise and has been made as the council prepares to cover an estimated £36m shortfall in funding over the next few years.

Cllr Richard Young, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “This is not a decision which I have relished, but hard decisions must be made in the face of having to find multi-million pound savings.

“In the face of ongoing national austerity and reductions in the amount of funding the council receives for the provision of essential services, we must continually review our priorities in order to ensure that we can continue to protect our most important services.

“While we recognise the value of these services, the harsh reality of the situation is that we no longer have the luxury of being able to subsidise a route that is not otherwise commercially viable because it does not have enough passengers.

“That said, it has been heartening to note that after removing the subsidy from six routes last year, the private operators have been able to continue to run services along five of them.

“We will do all that we can to mitigate the potential effect of this and will continue to work with community transport providers, but at this current point in time, there are only two things that will turn the situation around – an increase in sufficient funding, or a greater number of people opting to use commercial public transport.”

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