Free town buses will not be free to all in the future, it has been confirmed.

The town centre circular services in Huddersfield and Dewsbury were subsidised by Kirklees Council but had much of their funding slashed last year.

More than 1,900 signed a petition to save Huddersfield’s Free Town Bus which serves the town centre, the University of Huddersfield campus and Kirklees College, but the council said it had no choice but to remove almost £200,000 of support.

The council now says it will continue to run the bus after the contract runs out in September.

The current ten-minute frequency of the buses will be reduced before charges are eventually brought in from April 2017.

Clr Eric Firth told councillors said the service would go out to tender and passengers would have to pay fares.

Take a trip around Huddersfield new bus lanes below

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He said: “Pensioners, who are the main users of these buses, will still be able to use their passes.

“So it will be free for the majority of users. A fare (for others) has not yet been agreed.”

His comments came after the Liberal Democrat group submitted a motion urging the council to continue to partially fund the bus.

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The Lib Dems said a 50p fare could be paid, generating about £17,000 per year.

Clr Firth dismissed the idea as fit “for the bin”.

He said: “There was an acceptance by all political parties, however unpalatable, when we made this decision that we couldn’t finance the Free Town Bus due to the cuts from central government.

The free town centre bus in St George's Square, Huddersfield .

“Now the Lib Dems want us to spend £888,000 over five years to keep it going. That is completely unaffordable.”

But the Lib Dems said the service would have been completely scrapped this year without their intervention.

Golcar Liberal Democrat councillor, Christine Iredale, said: “I am pleased that the free town bus service will continue, albeit the buses will run less often than they used to.

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“I know a lot of people who depend on the buses to help them to get out and the buses help people to shop in the town centres, but they also allow people to socialise and meet up with friends. If the buses had stopped, many people would be left isolated.

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“Furthermore, the town centre buses really help the local economy, by benefiting and supporting shops and businesses in Huddersfield and Dewsbury.”

Currently, buses in Huddersfield run every 10 minutes on weekdays from 7.30am to 6.30pm and between 8.30am and 5.30pm on Saturdays.

It is not yet known what the reduced timetable from September will be.