A COUNCILLOR is urging for more funding for buses across Test Valley to address the £652 million annual funding gap.

The motion, put forward to Test Valley Full Council by Cllr Alan Dowden, is to write to Central Government to urge that funding for concessionary bus fares is significantly increased so that the £652 million annual funding gap is addressed.

Over the past decade, across England, 3000 local bus routes have been lost or reduced through lack of government funding.

Cllr Alan Dowden, who represents Valley Park on the borough council, said: "I wanted to put the motion in full council for two reasons.

"It is a worldwide issue - climate change - it is the most important thing we have to solve.

"As far as I am concerned, how can we expect the public to do something about it if we aren't doing it.

"It is these cut backs which mean older people have to use their cars which is damaging the world."

He added: "If older residents have no car or no buses, they are isolated.

"We have got to have much better bus services.

"I fought to save the number 46 in Valley Park, if I didn't do that, people would have been isolated."

Deputy Leader of the Council and Transport Portfolio Holder, Cllr Nick Adams-King said: "I think anything to improve public transport is a good thing.

"It is generally the responsibility of Hampshire County Council and so Alan might be better to aim it at the county council rather than the district council.

"But it is a good thing and I would hope something can be done,"

Cllr Dowden added: "As it states in the motion, the government have reduced the funding for bus public transport by £652 million annually and if we are serious about reducing pollution, which contributes to Global Warming, then this is one area where the national government can assist, not only the people of Test Valley but the population nationally."