TRANSPORT chiefs at Morebus have pledged to keep 70 per cent of their bus services running, following a Dorset County Council decision to cut travel subsidies.

From April, three Morebus routes – the X8 from Poole to Blandford, the number 13 linking Bournemouth, Ferndown and Poole, and the Swanage to Poole Purbeck Breezer 40 service – will lose more than £215,000 of subsidies.

This money was paid to ensure there was off peak, including evening, and Sunday timetables on these routes. Now Morebus managing director Andrew Wickham has pledged to keep 70 per cent of bus services running on the three routes.

He said: “I feel that we must support the public who have grown to rely on these routes running in the evenings and weekends and will continue to operate with amendments to the timetables for the foreseeable future.”

However, evening services on the number 50 Swanage to Bournemouth service remain under threat, as Borough of Poole – which pays a subsidy on this route – is currently consulting on whether or not to pull its financial support.

If borough council officials decide to remove the £12,590 subsidy for Monday to Saturday’s route 50, passengers could find that instead of the last bus from Bournemouth leaving at 7.38pm, it could be as early as 5.38pm.

Borough of Poole insist its consultation is not about cancelling the evening services but whether or not to pull its financial backing. If the council were to press ahead, it would be up to the bus company to amend any of its timetables, council officials said.