North Lincolnshire Council are reducing their budget for concessionary fares for the 2016/17 financial year, and a report to the cabinet member responsible gives options as to how to do this. The recommendation is to change the methodology for calculating concessionary fare payments to operators, which would lead to a lower reimbursement rate than presently provided. Consultation with Hornsby Travel and Stagecoach indicates that if this happens tendered services could be surrendered and commercial services would be under threat. Savings could also be made by removing discretionary elements of the North Lincolnshire concessionary fares scheme.
It is perhaps also worth noting that changes to bus services in North Lincolnshire are due to happen anyway next year as part of the 'Connecting Rural Communities' project that will see the launch of demand responsive services and fewer traditional tendered bus services.
North Lincolnshire has been rather protected from cuts to buses in recent years - the last major cuts were in 2006 - and has instead seen improvements - but 2016 seems set to be a year of major change.
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