YOUNG girls are in greater danger of sex attacks because of cuts in evening bus services, claims a councillor.
Mike McCusker believes a lack of public transport on the Stanney estate after 6pm puts females at risk.
Cllr Mike McCusker, chair of the area's highways and transportation local joint committee, said: 'Arriva Buses has taken off the service for Stanney Oaks after 6pm because of a lack of passengers.
'But there's a lot of children who go to Stanney High and schools in Chester, and they have to walk home past the woods in Stanney in the evenings.
'It gets dark now at 4pm and there have recently been sex attacks on young girls around the town.
'I'm most concerned about these children having to walk past the woods in the evenings. It's dangerous for them.
`It's not public-spirited to withdraw services at that time of day. What if there is a fatal attack on a young girl one evening? They could bring the evening service back then, but all the services in the world won't help afterwards.'
When Cllr McCusker (Lab, Whitby) contacted Liverpool-based Arriva the company told him the route into Stanney wasn't cost effective.
Cllr McCusker added: 'If there weren't enough passengers to fill a large bus why not put one of the small buses on?'
Arriva said: 'All of our services in Ellesmere Port are under contract to Cheshire County Council, so any decisions on the routes are down to them.'
The Tory-run county council has admitted drastic action is being taken and other options being considered after a shortfall of £750,000 was highlighted in the transport budget for next year.
Desperate measures include cutting more night services in Ellesmere Port and wider afield, and stopping all Sunday services or non-statutory school services.
The full council will debate this issue on December 18.
Labour county Cllr David Robinson said: 'Cheshire could end up as the second county in the UK to scrap evening bus services. But we will campaign rigorously to protect them.' Cllr McCusker has added his support to Cheshire police's seasonal anti drink-drive campaign.
He said: 'I'm against drink-driving, not just at Christmas but all year round.
'But we cannot have a situation where, because of a lack of public transport, people feel obliged to get out their cars the morning after a party, when they might still be over the legal limit.' What do you think about the bus cuts? Write to us at: The Pioneer, 66 Whitby Road, Ellesmere Port CH65 0AA.