MORE than 500 people have backed a petition calling on Hampshire County Council (HCC) to reconsider pulling the plug on its Community Transport Services.

Test Valley Community Services launched the petition on Friday, 14 September, in response to HCC’s Transformation to 2019 budget proposals which would see the withdrawal of remaining bus subsidies and an end to services including Dial-aRide and Call and Go.

The petition addressed to HCC leader councillor Roy Perry said the plans “appear to contradict HCC’s commitment to ending social isolation among vulnerable residents.”

It added: “Test Valley Community Transport and Call and Go passengers depend on these vital services to remain active, independent and included in their community.

“These services provide an answer to accessible transport, community cohesion, geographical isolation and social deprivation. Without them how will people get out from their homes, get to medical appointments, shop independently , visit friends and family or engage with others at social/lunch groups?”

Test Valley Community Services chief executive Terry Bishop said they are hoping for a minimum of 1,000 signatures before the plans go to HCC’s ruling cabinet in October.

Once considered by cabinet, the final decision will be made by full council in November followed by further consultations.

HCC is anticipating a £140 million budget shortfall by April 2019.

Cllr Perry, said: “We have beenreportingforsometime now, that opportunities for reducing costs are getting harder to find.

“With less money available and growing demand for council services, tough decisions are having to be made about what the county council can and cannot do in the future.

"We now have to consider more radical ways of making ends meet.

“Inevitably, this will involve changes to the way services are delivered, and further reductions in our workforce.

It is too early to predict what the precise impact will be, as plans are still evolving and further public consultation will be needed.”

Read the council’s proposals at and to sign the petition, go to and search ‘Save Test Valley Community Transport & Dial-a-Ride’.