WARMINGHAM will be cut off from the bus network next year – and mid Cheshire will lose some evening services.

At a meeting on Tuesday, members of Cheshire East Council’s cabinet unanimously voted to slash the number of supported bus services – although the cuts are not as severe as first intended.

The changes will mean that Warmingham will lose the number 32 bus, which is the village’s only scheduled service, while evening services for the 31 between Crewe, Winsford and Northwich will also be axed.

Evening services for the 37 – which connects Crewe, Middlewich, Winsford and Northwich – were also expected to be axed as part of CEC’s bus review, but these services could yet be saved once the council has its final costings from the tendering process.

Cllr Paul Bates, CEC cabinet member for finance and communication, said: “We face challenging financial constraints and we recognise that some of our residents will be affected by a reduction in services.

“We have had to make some tough decisions but we feel that we have met many of the concerns expressed in the consultation feedback by re-configuring some routes and retaining the subsidy on routes where the removal of services would have resulted in hardship.

“I want to thank all those people who took the trouble to contribute to the consultation and we would like to see residents making greater use of our buses, where practicable, so that car dependency across the borough is reduced.”

CEC expects that the changes, which are expected to come into effect no sooner than April 2018, will save it more than £1 million.

The council cannot confirm that figure until the tendering process is complete, although it expects the savings will be less than the £1.6 million it first intended to make before consultation in the summer, when 3,959 responses were submitted.

The dial-a-ride ‘little bus’ will be available for residents who cannot access a scheduled service – although the fleet will be reduced from nine to five.

Cllr Bernice Walmsley, CEC member for Middlewich, urged the cabinet not to leave the town without both trains and buses.

“Middlewich is a lovely place to live but it doesn’t have the services other towns take for granted,” she said.

“Without access to buses in the evening we will be completely cut off.”