Mayor accused of damaging city's night-time economy
CUTS to Bristol's night bus funding could cost the city more money than they save, it has been claimed.
Mayor George Ferguson was criticised over the planned budget cuts, along with savings which would affect community transport services and information screens.
Transport campaigner David Redgewell told last night's resources scrutiny commission meeting at City Hall that the loss of night buses would damage the city's nightlife, which had recently been given a purple flag award in recognition of its quality.
He added the £40,000 proposed cut was a "false saving" as stranded bus users could create a problem for police in the city centre late at night.
Liberal Democrat councillor Mark Wright said: "If you are leaving thousands of drunk people in the city centre you can easily lose the money in vandalism."
Labour councillor Ron Stone said the amount of subsidy was "postage stamp money" in relation to the council's total budget.
Labour group leader Helen Holland said cuts to community transport would affect the disadvantaged.
Mr Ferguson said: "I have inherited cuts and I have had cuts added by government. I don't want to get rid of PCSOs, night buses or community transport, but they are all things we have to look at. We have got difficult choices and the more help I can get making those choices, the better."
Mr Ferguson later fielded questions on his review of the Bus Rapid Transit scheme, which he said would be ready in "early May". He wants to change the BRT route from the Long Ashton park and ride to the city centre so buses do not pass in front of the M shed museum and over Prince Street bridge.
Mr Ferguson said government ministers had shown a "mood to allow for adjustment" in the scheme.