Those outside the main market towns such as Wallingford and Abingdon will know just how vital bus services are to get around.

Our area is served by a number of routes subsidised by the county council.

But all of them could be under threat with the latest announcement by the local authority that it is considering pulling its funding across the board.

The trouble is those living in rural areas who do not, or cannot, drive simply have no alternative. For these people, who are often elderly or infirm, a bus service is freedom of movement, the ability to be social and see friends, and a necessity for shopping or appointments.

Most would have been worried that the county council had been looking at cutting some subsidies to rural bus services.

It wanted to try to keep off-peak services in the more remote areas – the key buses that make the difference between isolation and inclusion.

But that fear will have heightened now it could remove these routes as well, as the council braces itself for further cuts from central government.

If the axe does fall, it could seriously affect people’s lives.

Despite the financial constraints, we must all ensure this does not happen by taking part in the consultation and showing how vital these services are.