A PETITION signed by more than 1,000 East Dorset residents in protest at cuts to key bus services has been handed to the county council.

A number of bus services in the Wimborne and Colehill area will change or be lost altogether from April 1 as the council aims to save £850,000 from the £2.8m it spends on its bus subsidy.

Furious residents have vowed to battle the plans, and 1,300 added their names to the petition, circulated by Colehill resident Paul Oliver.

Broadstone councillor Vikki Slade handed in the petition last week.

She said: “Residents are clearly concerned over the decision by the council to remove bus subsides in the evening for bus services between Bournemouth, Wimborne and Colehill.

“I’ve been very concerned when I hear stories of students who won’t be able to get back from college and school to adults who will lose full time employment because of the council’s decision.”

County councillor for Colehill and Stapehill Janet Dover, who has battled the cuts since they were first proposed, said she hoped the petition would make the council reconsider the decision.

“The strength of feeling for local residents is hard for the council to ignore,” she said.

“I am working alongside Annette Brooke MP, Vikki and local residents to make sure people have access to vital bus services in the evening.”

The MP has taken the issue of bus subsidy cuts to Parliament.

She said: “Residents across the area may now be faced with a choice between using a car or moving from their homes, and that seems very harsh.”