A funding gap of £1.85 million means that the No 6 bus service from Poundbury to Dorchester is up for review.
It comes after continuous pressure on Dorset County Council’s finances, which means the council must save £1million on all public bus services and a further £850,000 on school transport.
Now, the council is asking all residents, businesses and parents to take part in the consultation before Friday 22 July.
Following the public consultation period the council will consider the results and make its decision in September 2016. These changes will come into place in the Summer 2017.
Councillor Peter Finney, the council’s Cabinet member for environment, infrastructure and highways, said: “We are looking at the bigger picture and aiming to develop a modern transport network that makes best use of our reducing resources by joining up commercial, public and community services to support our economy and keep people connected.
“We can’t afford to keep our current public bus network, which is neither effective nor sustainable with the level of funding reductions we face.
“We are keen for the widest possible range of people to have their say by letting us know where and when they travel and how the proposals could affect them.
“People’s comments will be used to decide how we move forwards and help to form the future shape of Dorset’s transport network.”
The current budget for public and school transport is £10million, but only nine per cent of public transport journeys in Dorset are undertaken on subsidised public transport routes.
The number 6 electric bus from Dorchester to Poundbury is one of 42 routes under review.
Simon Conibear, Estate Director Dorchester for the Duchy of Cornwall urged residents and businesses to take part in the consultation.
He added: “The No 6 electric bus – the first in the South West of England – connecting Poundbury to Dorchester town centre and the railway station is an important feature of Poundbury, and part of our sustainable credentials.
“It offers an alternative to the private car and as Poundbury gets busier, with the development of Queen Mother Square and completion of a further 800 homes over the next ten years, will provide relief to residents here and also relieve congestion in Dorchester town centre.
“Until the development is completed the buses will rarely be full but it is important for both businesses and residents to support the service.
“As the County Council is currently reviewing its bus services, intending to make significant savings, it is important both to use the service and confirm its importance in the current public consultation.”
What is the no 6 bus?
Every year the no 6 electric bus makes nearly 6,000 trips from Poundbury to Dorchester. It connects to Dorchester South train station and the town centre every 30 minutes. The two green buses were the first operational buses to be powered by sustainable energy in the Southwest. Every day the buses are powered as a result of the groundbreaking technology from the Anerobic Digester Plant – the UK’s first biomethane plant to grid site. It uses up crops and food waste and in turns provides electricity for Dorset and enough gas to heat 56,000 homes in summertime across Dorset.
How you can have your say
To comment on the proposals, complete the questionnaire by clicking here
Paper questionnaires are also available at local libraries or by calling 01305 221088