BOROUGH chiefs have moved forward with plans to cut subsidised bus services – which could leave Styal cut off.

Cheshire East Council has conducted a review of its subsidised bus services in an attempt to save more than £1.5 million.

The 88, which connects Wilmslow to Knutsford, Hale Barns and Altrincham, could have its number of services halved, while the council could stop supporting the 200 to Manchester Airport altogether – despite the bus being the only service which runs through Styal.

At a CEC cabinet meeting on Tuesday, May 9, members voted to recommend the proposed changes for a 10-week consultation period.

In a report issued ahead of the meeting, CEC said: “[The 200] currently runs at a relatively high level of subsidy per passenger due to low volumes of passengers using the service.

“The service provides a link between Wilmslow, Styal and Manchester Airport between which rail alternatives are available.”

Following the consultation period, changes to subsidised bus services are expected to be put forward to cabinet again in November, before the council can move to cut its existing £3.5 million subsidised bus budget.

Speaking at Tuesday’s meeting Cllr Don Stockton, CEC member for Lacey Green, expressed his concerns at the proposals.

He said: “I have some specific issues in my ward in terms of the 378 bus, which was deemed no longer commercially viable, and the service was reduced so that it no longer went cross-border into Manchester.

“I also have an issue with the 200 bus which travels from Wilmslow to the airport, again a cross-border bus.

“There are other cross-border services within our area and I would like to be assured that we will be looking to take some due cognisance that cross-border services are of considerable importance, it’s not just bus services within the borough and I’d like to seed that assurance.”

Cllr Rachel Bailey, chairman of Cheshire East Council, admitted she had her own concerns about the proposals, but reiterated that they were would not be made final until after the consultation period.

Wilmslow Town Council met with CEC yesterday, May 9, to discuss its plans, and will meet again next Monday to look at possible routes for a new bus service.

Cllr Martin Watkins, chairman of Wilmslow Town Council, told the Guardian: “Our particular concern is regarding the 200 bus through Styal to Manchester Airport.

“We’ve agreed that we need to talk to CEC and put certain proposals to them. We are trying to arrange a meeting with Handforth, Alderley Edge and Styal parish councils to see if we can concoct a route that meets the needs of residents.

“Then we can take that to CEC and see what it thinks.”