COUNTY leaders have said they will work to save a vital bus route in Hampshire from the axe.

Leaders from Hampshire County Council are set to debate the bus subsidy budget, with a full decision taken on February 22.

The council has said that it is pleased to work with parish councils and ‘other interested parties’ wanting to support public transport.

It comes after the Stagecoach service number 46 bus, that runs between North Baddesley and Winchester, came under threat as a result of proposed cuts.

Despite the looming closure, Baddesley councillor Alan Dowden embarked on a mission to save the service.

He has got various parish councils affected by the to set aside extra funding to save the service.

Councillor Rob Humby, the county council transport boss, said: “Until we have a decision on the subsidy budget, I cannot comment on any specific individual route as we would undertake public consultation on how any reduction in bus subsidies should be applied.

“Until this decision has been made, we will not be in a position to consider specific routes.

“We are, as always, pleased to work with parish councils and other interested parties wanting to support public transport in Hampshire.”

As previously reported, both North Baddesley and Valley Park parish councils have each agreed to help fund the service by increasing their council tax precepts by £3,000.

Cllr Dowden said he ‘had done all he can’ to save the service running.He said: “Ampfield Parish Council have agreed to place it on their February agenda.“The county council are, during this difficult budgetary situation, clearly seeking help from the parish councils.

“Because it will only be the public who will suffer if services are withdrawn, I have managed to encourage some parish councils to support financially in order to maintain this essential bus service.

“If the 46 bus service were to be withdrawn, it would leave many totally isolated. I have done everything I can to keep this service running.”

The route needs an additional £40,000 to keep running, as the cuts have been proposed by Hampshire County Council in order to save £140 million.

Chandler’s Ford Parish Council said that it would be taking the proposals through to committee and full council when they had all the relevant information before deciding whether to back Cllr Dowden’s plan.