A COMMUNITY bus service which links Little Marlow with Marlow town centre may be axed due to empty seats.

Only five people from the village are believed to use the County Rider bus service into Marlow, but it costs the parish council £1,900 a year.

The service is jointly funded by three Marlow parish councils and Bucks County Council, but Little Marlow is now thinking of withdrawing from the scheme.

Gloria Barclay, Little Marlow Parish Council clerk, said: "Our records show that only four or five people are using the bus.

"We are paid up for the next 12 months, which means we have a year to assess the situation and look at possible alternatives."

One option being considered is a voucher system for taxis paid for by the parish council.

All the council partners are due to meet later this month to discuss the possible impact of Little Marlow's withdrawal.

Andy Clarke, South Bucks team leader for Passenger Transport, said: "If Little Marlow Parish Council was to withdraw funding for the service, it is unlikely that this would mean the end of the service, but funding would certainly have to be sought from elsewhere to make up the difference."

The County Rider service costs £28,000 a year to run. It operates five days a week on route 158 and 160 around Marlow and carries between 180-200 passengers a week. The county council pays £20,000 towards the service and the other partners contribute £8,000 per year.

Mr Clarke added: "If Little Marlow Parish Council has issues to raise about the current service, it should do this at the meeting, where all of the five councils involved can discuss possible changes and their impact."